Longitudinal ultrasound measures of fetal growth and offspring outcomes
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Original versionCurrent Epidemiology Reports. 2017, 4 (2), 98-105. 10.1007/s40471-017-0103-2
Purpose of Review In this narrative review, we outline recent evidence relating longitudinal ultrasound (US) measurements to offspring outcomes in the perinatal period and in childhood, with an emphasis on the methodological approaches for describing fetal growth. Recent Findings The utility of longitudinal ultrasonography (US) to measure fetal growth and determine fetal trajectories is valued in both clinical and research environments. Evidence shows that repeated measures of US throughout pregnancy are useful for distinguishing between a growth-restricted and constitutionally small fetus, the former burdened by adverse clinical outcomes. Fetal growth restriction and small for gestational age are not interchangeable terms, although both can exist in the same individual. Summary The application of longitudinal US may have predictive value when determining longer-term health and disease outcomes in offspring born growth-restricted. However, it is important to remember that associations between fetal growth restriction and increased risk for non-communicable diseases are likely modified by postnatal growth.