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Research Article

Screening for small for dates fetuses: a controlled trial.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 03 November 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1179
  1. J P Neilson,
  2. S P Munjanja,
  3. C R Whitfield


    In the hope of reducing perinatal risks associated with retardation of intrauterine growth a previously described two stage ultrasound screening schedule was evaluated by a controlled trial in 877 women with low risk single pregnancies. The two stages of ultrasound examination were an assessment of gestational age during early pregnancy followed by measurement of length from crown to rump and area of trunk at between 34 and 36 weeks' gestation. The product of crown to rump length and trunk area was calculated. The sensitivity of this schedule in identifying in advance 94% of babies who were small for dates at birth, with 90% specificity, and the speed and simplicity of measurement confirmed the accuracy and feasibility of two stage ultrasonography as a screening procedure. The controlled trial did not, however, show any benefit from its routine application in these low risk pregnancies.