Current concepts of fetal growth restriction: part I. Causes, classification, and pathophysiology

Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Dec;92(6):1044-55. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(98)00328-7.


Objective: To update basic concepts and management strategies of fetal growth restriction (FGR).

Data source: An English literature search was conducted for pertinent articles related to FGR from 1976 to 1997. Original research articles, review articles, and book chapters were reviewed.

Methods of study selection: This study was divided into two parts. For this article, both human data and animal data pertinent to understanding causative factors, pathogenesis, clinical type, and pathophysiology were included. To perform a meaningful comparison, the concept of investigators and their methods of investigation were critically compared between the two study periods: 1976-1985 and 1986-1997.

Tabulation, integration, and results: Older concepts involving basic principles of FGR based on animal models during the first study period were integrated with new research findings obtained from human FGR during the second study period. By comparative analysis of older animal data and new human data, current concepts of FGR were synthesized.

Conclusion: Fetal growth restriction affects a heterogenous group of infants. Despite development of new technology for investigation, many older basic concepts related to FGR are still fundamentally sound. However, new investigations directly performed on human fetuses are a useful expansion of the older concepts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fetal Growth Retardation* / classification
  • Fetal Growth Retardation* / etiology
  • Fetal Growth Retardation* / physiopathology
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Research
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents


  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Glucose