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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;61(12):1380-5. Epub 2007 Feb 14.

Using the LMS method to calculate z-scores for the Fenton preterm infant growth chart.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



The use of exact percentiles and z-scores permit optimal assessment of infants' growth. In addition, z-scores allow the precise description of size outside of the 3rd and 97th percentiles of a growth reference. To calculate percentiles and z-scores, health professionals require the LMS parameters (Lambda for the skew, Mu for the median, and Sigma for the generalized coefficient of variation; Cole, 1990). The objective of this study was to calculate the LMS parameters for the Fenton preterm growth chart (2003).


Secondary data analysis of the Fenton preterm growth chart data.


The Cole methods were used to produce the LMS parameters and to smooth the L parameter. New percentiles were generated from the smooth LMS parameters, which were then compared with the original growth chart percentiles.


The maximum differences between the original percentile curves and the percentile curves generated from the LMS parameters were: for weight; a difference of 66 g (2.9%) at 32 weeks along the 90th percentile; for head circumference; some differences of 0.3 cm (0.6-1.0%); and for length; a difference of 0.5 cm (1.6%) at 22 weeks on the 97th percentile.


The percentile curves generated from the smoothed LMS parameters for the Fenton growth chart are similar to the original curves. These LMS parameters for the Fenton preterm growth chart facilitate the calculation of z-scores, which will permit the more precise assessment of growth of infants who are born preterm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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