Document Detail

Fetuses subsequently born premature are smaller than gestational age-matched fetuses not born premature.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12693619     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether singleton fetuses in pregnancies that subsequently deliver prematurely are smaller than singleton fetuses of the same gestational age who are not born premature. METHODS: Our study population consisted of singleton pregnancies meeting the following criteria: at least 1 first-trimester sonogram (to ensure accurate dating), at least 1 sonogram after 24 weeks' gestation, and a known delivery date. Controlling for gestational age at sonography using analysis of covariance, we compared very premature fetuses (delivery at 24-29.9 weeks; n = 26) and moderately premature fetuses (delivery at 30-36.9 weeks; n = 306) with nonpremature fetuses (n = 1,838) with respect to the following sonographic parameters: abdominal diameter, femur length, biparietal diameter, and estimated fetal weight. RESULTS: On 24- to 29.9-week sonograms, fetuses who were subsequently born very premature had significantly smaller fetal measurements than did fetuses who were not born premature (P < .05 for all parameters). Even after excluding 9 very premature fetuses with a risk factor for uteroplacental insufficiency (e.g., toxemia or hypertension), the remaining 17 fetuses had significantly smaller abdominal diameters, femur lengths, and estimated fetal weights than nonpremature fetuses (P < .05). Sonographic parameters in moderately premature fetuses were smaller than in nonpremature fetuses on 30- to 36.9-week sonograms (P < .05 for all parameters), but the only parameters that differed significantly between these 2 groups on 24- to 29.9-week sonograms were abdominal diameter and femur length. CONCLUSIONS. Singleton fetuses subsequently born premature are smaller than gestational age-matched fetuses not born premature, even in the absence of an identifiable cause of growth restriction. The lag in growth appears to occur in the last few weeks before delivery.
Peter M Doubilet; Carol B Benson; Louise Wilkins-Haug; Steven Ringer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine     Volume:  22     ISSN:  0278-4297     ISO Abbreviation:  J Ultrasound Med     Publication Date:  2003 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-04-15     Completed Date:  2003-07-03     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8211547     Medline TA:  J Ultrasound Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  359-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Birth Weight*
Gestational Age*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / physiology*
Pregnancy Trimester, Third
Ultrasonography, Prenatal

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