Growth curves for preterm infants

Early Hum Dev. 2007 Oct;83(10):643-51. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2007.07.008. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


The commonly used growth curves for preterm infants are four decades old and may not be suitable for the current population. Uncertainty exists regarding the most suitable curves for monitoring the growth of preterm infants. While intrauterine growth rate appears to be the ideal growth that needs to be attained by the preterm infants, it may not be feasible given the limitations set by the morbidities of prematurity. Babson and Benda's chart has been updated using recent data from large samples of preterm infants making it useful for monitoring growth of infants in the preterm period. Once a corrected age of 40 weeks is reached, the recently released WHO growth curves can be used to monitor their ongoing growth. While aiming for achieving intrauterine growth velocities in postnatal life, one should not lose sight of the potential short term adverse effects of aggressive nutrition and long term adverse effects of excessive catch up growth.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic