• What is the value of ultrasound soft tissue measurements in the prediction of abnormal fetal growth?

      Farah, N; Stuart, B; Donnelly, V; Rafferty, G; Turner, M; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      Abnormal fetal growth increases the complications of pregnancy not only for the baby but also for the mother. Growth abnormalities also have lifelong consequences. These babies are at increased risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension later in life. It is important to identify these babies antenatally to optimise their clinical care. Although used extensively antenatally to monitor fetal growth, ultrasound has its limitations. Despite the use of more than 50 different formulae to estimate fetal weight, their performance has been poor at the extremes of fetal weight. Over the past 20 years there has been emerging interest in studying fetal soft tissue measurements to improve detection of growth abnormalities. This review paper outlines the value of soft tissue measurements in identifying fetal growth abnormalities, in estimating fetal weight and in managing diabetes mellitus in pregnancy.