Ultrasound in obstetric decision making. How accurate are late ultrasound scans in gestational age and fetal weight assessment?

Am J Perinatol. 1987 Apr;4(2):147-51. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-999760.


Gestational age determination based on obstetric dating criteria, early pregnancy ultrasound scans, Dubowitz examinations, and ultrasound scans performed shortly before delivery were reviewed for 69 preterm infants requiring neonatal intensive care. The last ultrasound scans underestimated gestational age by a median of 8 days, and by 2 weeks or more in 20 of the 69 cases, as opposed to best dating criteria. Ultrasonic fetal weight estimation was more accurate, but erred by more than 20% in 10% of cases. When obstetric decisions regarding preterm neonates must be made without prior information regarding gestational age, late ultrasound findings must be applied with extreme care.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetal Monitoring
  • Gestational Age*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Ultrasonography*