National curves of foetal growth in singleton foetuses of Greek origin

Eur J Clin Invest. 2016 May;46(5):425-33. doi: 10.1111/eci.12611. Epub 2016 Mar 22.


Background: Foetal growth monitoring is an essential component of prenatal care with postnatal impact. The aim of the study was to construct reference ranges for foetal biometric parameters in Greek foetuses and to compare them with previously published models.

Materials and methods: Measurements from 1200 Greek foetuses were used to construct normal curves for biparietal diameter (BPD), occipitofrontal diameter (OFD), head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC), femoral length (FL) and the BPD/FL ratio according to the methodology described by Royston and Wright (1998). The model was validated in a second group of 1200 different foetuses using analysis of the corresponding standardized residuals (z-scores). The z-scores which were derived by our model were compared to those calculated using previously published models from other populations.

Results: BPD, OFD, HC, AC, FL and the BPD/FL ratio are accurately described by simple quadratic equations (R(2) > 0·96 for most of the parameters tested). Statistically significant differences were observed for most of the z-scores when our models were compared to previously published models. Less than 10% of our foetuses were < 5th or > 95th centile of the latter models. About 10% of our foetuses were > 95th centile for FL and HC when the INTERGROWTH-21st formulas were used.

Conclusion: We present national foetal biometric references. Using charts from other populations (including INTERGROWTH-21st) may be unrepresentative of local populations and lead to misclassification of foetal growth status.

Keywords: Biometry; curves; foetal growth; national; standards; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biometry
  • Cephalometry
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Fetal Development*
  • Fetus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gestational Age*
  • Greece
  • Growth Charts
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Memory, Episodic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Reference Values
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • White People