Accuracy of Ultrasound to Predict Neonatal Birth Weight Among Fetuses With Gastroschisis: Impact on Timing of Delivery

J Ultrasound Med. 2021 Jul;40(7):1383-1389. doi: 10.1002/jum.15519. Epub 2020 Oct 1.


Objectives: To determine the accuracy of ultrasound estimation of fetal weight among fetuses with gastroschisis and how the diagnosis of fetal growth restriction (FGR) affects the timing of delivery.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study including all fetuses with a diagnosis of gastroschisis at our institution from November 2012 through October 2017. We excluded multiple gestations, pregnancies with major structural or chromosomal abnormalities, and those for which prenatal and postnatal follow-up were unavailable. Performance characteristics of ultrasound to predict being small for gestational age (SGA) were calculated for the first and last ultrasound estimations of fetal weight.

Results: Our cohort included 75 cases of gastroschisis. At the initial ultrasound estimation, 15 of 58 (25.9%) fetuses met criteria for FGR; 48 of 70 (68.6%) met criteria at the time of the last ultrasound estimation (median, 34.7 weeks). Cesarean delivery was performed for 37 of 75 (49.3%), with FGR and concern for fetal distress as the indication for delivery in 17 of 37 (45.9%). Only 6 of 17 (35.3%) of the neonates born by cesarean delivery for an indication of FGR and fetal distress were SGA. The initial ultrasound designation of FGR corresponded to SGA at birth in 8 of 15 (53.3%), whereas the last ultrasound estimation corresponded to SGA in 17 of 48 (35.4%). The initial ultrasound estimation agreed with the last ultrasound estimation before delivery with the diagnosis of FGR in 13 of 15 (86.7%).

Conclusions: Ultrasound in the third trimester was sensitive but had a low positive predictive value and low accuracy for the diagnosis of SGA at birth for fetuses with gastroschisis. A large proportion of fetuses were born by cesarean delivery with indications related to FGR or fetal concerns.

Keywords: estimated fetal weight; fetal growth restriction; gastroschisis; small for gestational age.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnostic imaging
  • Fetus
  • Gastroschisis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal