Effect of various dating formulae on sonographic estimation of gestational age in extremely preterm infants

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Aug;40(2):179-85. doi: 10.1002/uog.10101.


Objectives: Gestational age (GA) is one of the most important obstetric factors and prediction of date of delivery is usually based on ultrasonographic fetal measurements. Our aim was to determine whether applying three different dating formulae to a cohort of extremely preterm infants influenced the estimation of their GA.

Methods: This was a study of 513 infants delivered before 27 gestational weeks, included in a Swedish national population study (EXPRESS), with information available on mid-trimester ultrasonographically measured biparietal diameter and femur length. We applied using these parameters three dating formulae, the Persson & Weldner formula, commonly used in Sweden, the Hadlock formula and the Mul formula, and compared their GA estimates to the clinically reported GA (recorded at delivery) and the last menstrual period (LMP)-based GA.

Results: The mean reported GA was 173.2 days, corresponding well to the GA according to the Persson & Weldner dating formula (173.3). The mean GA according to LMP, the Hadlock formula and the Mul formula were 176.8, 175.3 and 175.6 days, respectively. The Hadlock and Mul GA estimates differed significantly from that based on the Persson & Weldner formula (both P-values < 10(-6)). Among 68 pregnancies with a reported duration of 22 weeks, 33 (49%) had a duration of 23 weeks or more when GA was calculated according to LMP and 22 (32%) when GA was calculated according to the Hadlock formula.

Conclusion: Estimated GA among infants delivered before 27 gestational weeks varied significantly depending on the dating formula used to calculate the estimated date of delivery; this might influence the clinical management of extremely preterm fetuses and infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Gestational Age*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Sweden
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*