Estimation of fetal weight in fetuses with abdominal wall defects ,comparison of 2 recent sonographic formulas to the hadlock formula

Sara Nicholas, Methodius G. Tuuli, Jeffrey Dicke, George A. MacOnes, David Stamilio, Anthony O. Odibo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: Estimation of fetal weight is particularly challenging in fetuses with abdominal wall defects (AWDs). We sought to compare the accuracy and screening efficiency for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) of 2 recent sonographic formulas to those of the Hadlock formula (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1985; 151:333-337) in fetuses with AWDs. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of fetuses with AWDs. Fetuses with sonographically estimated fetal weights (EFWs) within 14 days before delivery were included. Using the individual biometric measurements, EFWs were calculated using the Honarvar (Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2001; 73:15-20; femur length [FL]), Siemer (Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2008; 31:397-400; FL, biparietal diameter [BPD], and occipitofrontal diameter), and Hadlock (BPD, head circumference, abdominal circumference, and FL) formulas. The calculated EFWs were adjusted for interval growth between the dates of sonography and delivery using published sonographic fetal growth velocity standards. Accuracy and screening efficiency for IUGR were compared. Results. Seventy-six fetuses were included: 53 with gastroschisis and 23 with omphalocele. The median gestational age at delivery was 36.6 weeks (range, 25.0 to 39.0 weeks). The Siemer formula had the lowest mean percentage error (-2.5% [95% confidence interval (CI), -6.2% to +1.2%]) without systematic bias (P =.182). The Hadlock formula had the highest precision (random error, 11.4%), sensitivity (91%), and accuracy for predicting IUGR (85% [95% CI, 77% to 94%]). Conclusions: None of the 3 sonographic formulas is ideal for estimating fetal weight in fetuses with AWDs. The Siemer formula should be used when accuracy in the absolute EFW is the goal. For the purpose of making the more clinically relevant diagnosis of IUGR, use of the Hadlock formula is justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1074
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Abdominal wall defect
  • Estimated fetal weight
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Screening efficiency
  • Sonographic formula


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