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Fetal Growth Compromise: Definitions, Standards, and Classification

Maulik, Dev MD, PhD

Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology: June 2006 - Volume 49 - Issue 2 - pp 214-218
Fetal Growth Restriction

Fetal growth compromise is mostly defined by gestational age specific threshold value of birth weight or ultrasonically estimated fetal weight. The most frequently used threshold is the 10th centile. However, this approach can not differentiate fetal constitutional smallness from fetal growth failure. The most common descriptor terms are fetal growth restriction (FGR), intrauterine growth restriction and small for gestational age. It is recommended to restrict the use of the first two terms to prenatal assessment of growth and the last term to assessment of the birth weight. Growth reference charts are affected by physiological and methodological variables. There is controversy on whether the reference charts should be customized by multiple variables or inclusive of the whole population. Symmetric FGR is more common and has better outcome than asymmetric FGR. However, such a classification may not be clinically relevant.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Winthrop University Hospital, 259 First Street, Mineola, New York

Correspondence: Dev Maulik, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Winthrop University Hospital, 259 First Street, Mineola, NY 11501. E-mail: wirving@winthrop.org

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.