Diagnosis and management of postnatal fetal growth restriction

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Aug;32(4):523-534. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2018.03.013. Epub 2018 Apr 5.


Fetal growth restriction (FGR) can result from multiple causes, such as genetic, epigenetic, environment, hormonal regulation, or vascular troubles and their potential interaction. The physiopathology of FGR is not yet fully elucidated, but the insulin-like growth factor system is known to play a central role. Specific clinical features can lead to the identification of genetic syndromes in some patients. FGR leads to multiple global health concerns, from the perinatal period, with higher morbidity/mortality, through infancy, with neurodevelopmental, growth, and metabolic issues, to the onset of puberty and later in life, with subfertility and elevated risks of cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Adequate follow-up and therapeutics should be offered to these patients. We first review the main molecular etiologies leading to FGR and their specificities. We then highlight the main issues that FGR can raise later in life before concluding with the proposed management of these children.

Keywords: IGF system; Silver–Russell syndrome; fetal growth restriction; imprinted disorders; intra-uterine growth retardation; small for gestational age.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy