Influence of fetal and parental factors on intrauterine growth measurements: results of the EDEN mother-child cohort

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Dec;38(6):673-80. doi: 10.1002/uog.9006. Epub 2011 Mar 22.


Objective: In small-for-gestational-age neonates, parental and fetal characteristics can be used to distinguish between constitutionally small size and growth restriction, which is associated with a higher risk of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to quantify relationships of parental and fetal characteristics with fetal ultrasound measurements.

Methods: The EDEN mother-child cohort included 2002 pregnant women with singleton pregnancies attending one of two university hospitals. Data from two routine ultrasound examinations for fetal biometry were recorded, at 20-25 and 30-35 weeks of gestation. Biparietal diameter (BPD), head circumference (HC), femur length (FL), abdominal circumference (AC) and estimated fetal weight (EFW) were studied as a function of prepregnancy maternal body mass index (BMI), maternal height, paternal height, fetal sex and gestational age.

Results: Data were obtained at the first scan from 1833 women and at the second scan from 1752 women. Parental anthropometric characteristics were significantly associated with ultrasound measurements at both scans. Maternal BMI was more strongly associated with AC and EFW, whereas both maternal and paternal height were more strongly associated with FL. An association was also found between fetal sex and all ultrasound measurements other than FL.

Conclusion: Maternal and paternal anthropometric characteristics are significantly associated with ultrasound measurements in mid to late pregnancy. These relationships provide support for the use of these characteristics in ultrasound fetal size reference charts.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdomen / embryology*
  • Adult
  • Biometry / methods*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / embryology*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / pathology
  • Fetal Weight
  • Gestational Age
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Head / embryology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*
  • Young Adult