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Acta Paediatr. 1996 Jul;85(7):843-8.

Intrauterine growth curves based on ultrasonically estimated foetal weights.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Lund, University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.


Available standard intrauterine growth curves based on birthweights underestimate foetal growth in preterm period. New growth curves are presented based on data from four Scandinavian centres for 759 ultrasonically estimated foetal weights in 86 uncomplicated pregnancies. Mean weight of boys exceeded that of girls by 2-3%. A uniform SD value of 12% of the mean weight was adopted for the standard curves as the true SD varied non-systematically between 9.1 and 12.4%. Applied to an unselected population of 8663 singleton births, before 210 days of gestation, 32% of birthweights were classified as small-for-gestational age (SGA; i.e. below mean - 2 SD); the corresponding figures were 11.1% for gestational ages between 210 and 258 days, and 2.6% for ages of 259 days or longer. The new growth curves reveal better the true distribution of SGA foetuses and neonates, and are suggested for use in perinatological practice.

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