Objective: To assess carotid and aortic intima-media thickness (IMT) in term small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborns with and without prenatal signs of severity.
Methods: This prospective study comprised 67 cases diagnosed prenatally and 134 normally grown newborns. Cases were subclassified into SGA with no signs of severity and those with signs of severity, defined as a birth weight below the 3(rd) percentile or abnormal uterine artery Doppler or cerebroplacental ratio. Blood pressure and vascular IMT were evaluated.
Results: SGA newborns showed a non-significant trend for higher values of blood pressure. IMT values were significantly increased in SGA newborns, with and without signs of severity, compared with controls. The magnitude of the increase was higher in SGA newborns with signs of severity.
Conclusions: Vascular IMT was increased in SGA newborns, irrespective of the presence or absence of prenatal signs of severity. This finding challenges the notion of 'constitutionally small' SGA, and supports the premise that the majority of SGA newborns have true growth restriction and suffer fetal cardiovascular programming.
Keywords: aortic intima-media thickness; blood pressure; carotid arterial intima-media thickness; late-onset intrauterine growth restriction; small-for-gestational age.
Copyright © 2013 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.