Three-Versus Two-Dimensional Sonographic Biometry for Predicting Birth Weight and Macrosomia in Diabetic Pregnancies

J Ultrasound Med. 2016 Sep;35(9):1925-30. doi: 10.7863/ultra.15.08032. Epub 2016 Jul 27.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a formula incorporating 3-dimensional (3D) fractional thigh volume would be superior to the conventional 2-dimensional (2D) formula of Hadlock et al (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1985; 151:333-337) for predicting birth weight and macrosomia.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of pregnancies complicated by pregestational or gestational diabetes and delivered after 38 weeks. Two-dimensional and 3D sonographic examinations were performed for fetal biometry and factional thigh volumes at 34 to 37 weeks. Fetal weight was estimated by Hadlock's 2D formula IV, which uses only 2D biometry, and formula 6 from Lee et al (Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2009; 34:556-565), which incorporates 3D fractional thigh volume and 2D biometry. The gestation-adjusted projection method was used to estimate predicted birth weights from 2D and 3D estimates. The primary outcome was fetal macrosomia, which was defined as birth weight of 4000 g or higher.

Results: A total of 115 women with diabetes met inclusion criteria, and 17 (14.8%) delivered macrosomic neonates. The mean percentage error was significantly lower for the 2D than the 3D projected estimate (1.0% versus 12.0%; P < .01). The standard deviation of the mean percentage error was also significantly lower for the 2D projected estimate (10.2% versus 17.2%; P< .01). Two-dimensional biometry was overall superior to 3D biometry for predicting macrosomia (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.88 versus 0.75; P = .03). Specificity was significantly higher for 2D biometry (85% versus 66%; P < .01), whereas the difference in sensitivity was not statistically significant (59% versus 71%; P = .22).

Conclusions: In this study, the Hadlock 2D formula was superior to the 3D method for predicting birth weight and macrosomia in diabetic women when used approximately 2 weeks before delivery, based on the gestation-adjusted projection method.

Keywords: 3-dimensional sonography; diabetes; fetal macrosomia; fetal weight; obstetric ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biometry / methods*
  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*