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Semin Perinatol. 2004 Feb;28(1):51-8.

Fetal growth potential and pregnancy outcome.

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1
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555-1062, USA. rkbukows@utmb.edu

Abstract

Although the association of fetal growth restriction and adverse pregnancy outcomes is well known, lack of sensitivity limits its clinical value. To a large extent, this limitation is a result of traditionally used method to define growth restriction by comparing fetal or birth weight to population norms. The use of population norms, by virtue of their inability to fully consider individual variation, results in high false positive and negative rates. An alternative, calculating fetal individually optimal growth potential, based on physiological determinants of individual growth, is superior in predicting adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Impairment of fetal growth potential identifes some adverse pregnancy outcomes that are not associated with growth restrction defined by population norms. When compared with traditional population-based norms, fetal growth potential is a better predictor of several important adverse outcomes of pregnancy which include: stillbirth, neonatal mortality and morbidity, and long-term adverse neonatal outcomes like neonatal encephalopathy, cerebral palsy and cognitive abilities. Impairment of individual growth potential is also strongly associated with spontaneous preterm delivery. Although definitive interventional trials have not been conducted as yet to validate the clinical value of fetal growth potential, many observational studies, conducted in various populations, indicate its significant promise in this respect.

PMID:
15058902
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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