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Eur J Pediatr. 2006 Oct;165(10):717-25. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

Identification of newborns with Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) in weight and/or length based on constitutional growth potential.

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UMR 369 INSERM / Claude Bernard University-Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Unit - and IFR62, Research group: Epidemiology of growth and development, Faculté de Médecine Laennec, 8 rue Guillaume Paradin, 69008, Lyon, France.


This study was carried out to build statistical models for defining FGR (Fetal Growth Restriction) in weight and/or length after taking growth potential of an infant into account. From a cohort of pregnant women having given birth to 47,733 infants in 141 French maternity units, two statistical models gave individualized limits of birth weight and birth length (based on the 5th centile) below which, after adjustment for its individual growth potential, a newborn must be considered as FGR in weight and/or in length. A sample of 906 infants had measures taken of cord blood growth factors (IGF1, IGFBP3). The FGR(W) definition (weight<5th centile for growth potential) permitted the identification of infants who presented rates of maternal hypertension (13.6%) and of Apgar score at 5 min<6 (2.9%) higher than in the classical group SGA(W) (weight<5th centile for sex and gestational age) (9.6% and 2.2% respectively). By combining FGR(W) and SGA(W), a subgroup of infants, not currently recognized as SGA, presented very high rates of maternal hypertension (19.9%) and of low Apgar score (3.9%). Conversely a subgroup of infants, currently recognized as SGA(W), had rates as low as in the normal infants group, and had to be considered as "constitutionally small" (that is to say 24% of the SGA(W)). Combining FGR(W) and FGR(L) (length<5th centile of growth potential), 7.6% of infants appeared growth-restricted, and 1.8% appeared constitutionally small in weight and/or in length. The FGR(W)-FGR(L) infants showed the lowest mean values of IGF1 (126.2+/-3.2) and IGFBP3 (0.86+/-0.03). These new definitions of FGR(W) and FGR(L) could help to better identify infants at birth requiring neonatal care, and monitoring of growth catch-up and neurodevelopmental outcome.

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