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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2012 Jul-Sep;26(3 Suppl):5-7.

Critical appraisal of different anthropometric charts to evaluate postnatal growth of preterm infants.

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Neonatal Unit, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy.


Preterm infants' survival has greatly increased in the last few decades thanks to the improvement in obstetrical and neonatal care. The correct evaluation of postnatal growth of these babies is nowadays of primary concern, although the definition of their optimal postnatal growth pattern is still controversial. Concerns have also been raised about the strategies to monitor their growth, specifically in relation to the charts used. At present, the charts available in clinical practice are fetal growth charts, neonatal anthropometric charts and postnatal growth charts for term infants. None of these, for different reasons, is suitable to correctly evaluate preterm infant growth. Recently, an international project has recently started aiming to create prescriptive standard for the evaluation of postnatal growth of preterm infants (INTERGROWTH-21st). Alternatively, at present, while specific charts for evaluating preterm infant postnatal growth are lacking, the best compromise is likely to be as follows: from birth to term neonatal anthropometric charts; International longitudinal charts WHO 2006 or CDC 2002 from term to childhood.

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