Development of a fetal weight chart using serial trans-abdominal ultrasound in an East African population: A longitudinal observational study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Christentze Schmiegelow, Thomas Scheike, Mayke Oesterholt, Daniel Minja, Caroline Pehrson, Pamela Magistrado, Martha Lemnge, Vibeke Rasch, John Lusingu, Thor G Theander, Birgitte Bruun Nielsen

OBJECTIVE: To produce a fetal weight chart representative of a Tanzanian population, and compare it to weight charts from Sub-Saharan Africa and the developed world. METHODS: A longitudinal observational study in Northeastern Tanzania. Pregnant women were followed throughout pregnancy with serial trans-abdominal ultrasound. All pregnancies with pathology were excluded and a chart representing the optimal growth potential was developed using fetal weights and birth weights. The weight chart was compared to a chart from Congo, a chart representing a white population, and a chart representing a white population but adapted to the study population. The prevalence of SGA was assessed using all four charts. RESULTS: A total of 2193 weight measurements from 583 fetuses/newborns were included in the fetal weight chart. Our chart had lower percentiles than all the other charts. Most importantly, in the end of pregnancy, the 10(th) percentiles deviated substantially causing an overestimation of the true prevalence of SGA newborns if our chart had not been used. CONCLUSIONS: We developed a weight chart representative for a Tanzanian population and provide evidence for the necessity of developing regional specific weight charts for correct identification of SGA. Our weight chart is an important tool that can be used for clinical risk assessments of newborns and for evaluating the effect of intrauterine exposures on fetal and newborn weight.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)e44773
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 40797891