Objective:To evaluate the performance of clinical estimation of fetal weight as a screening test for fetal growth disorders and then to estimate the effect of maternal body mass index (BMI) on its screening efficiency.Study Design:This was a retrospective cohort study of patients referred for third trimester ultrasound for the indication of 'size unequal to dates'. Patients with medical co-morbidities that may alter their a priori risk for fetal growth disorders were excluded. The incidence of fetal growth disorders as well as amniotic fluid disturbances was determined for each group and then compared across maternal BMI categories of <25 kg m -2, 25-30 kg m -2, ≥30 kg m-2 and ≥40 kg m-2. To evaluate the accuracy of clinical estimation of fetal weight in predicting fetal growth disorders, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, likelihood ratios, as well as number needed to scan (NNS) was calculated and compared across BMI categories.Result:Of 51 366 patients, 1623 were referred for the indication of size>dates and 1543 for the indication of size<dates. The incidence of fetal growth disorders in each referral group was low and was not significantly different across BMI categories. The sensitivity and specificity were 9.7 and 96.6% for predicting neonatal birth weight (BW)>90th percentile and 13.5 and 96.7% for predicting BW<10th percentile. The NNS to detect one neonate with a BW<10th percentile ranged from 5 to 19, whereas the NNS to detect one neonate with a BW>90th percentile ranged from 6 to 13 across BMI categories.Conclusion: Overall, clinical estimation of fetal weight yields a low detection rate of fetal growth abnormalities; however, its screening efficiency is not adversely impacted by maternal BMI.
- body mass index
- clinical estimation of fetal weight
- fetal growth
- fundal height measurement