Estimating fetal age: computer-assisted analysis of multiple fetal growth parameters

Radiology. 1984 Aug;152(2):497-501. doi: 10.1148/radiology.152.2.6739822.


Regression models for predicting menstrual age based on real-time sonographic measurements of four fetal parameters (biparietal diameter, head circumference, abdominal circumference, and femur length), used alone and in combination, were developed in a cross-sectional study of 361 fetuses between 14 and 42 menstrual weeks. The head circumference and femur length were the strongest individual predictors of age. A number of combinations of fetal parameters, including the combination of head circumference and femur length, provided age estimates that were significantly better (p = 0.05) than those using any single parameter alone. It was also demonstrated that simply averaging individual age estimates in a given case could provide results that were not significantly different from those obtained by using the same parameters in a complex regression equation. The advantages and potential pitfalls of this system of fetal dating are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / anatomy & histology
  • Computers*
  • Female
  • Femur / anatomy & histology
  • Gestational Age*
  • Head / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Ultrasonography*