Population versus Customized Fetal Growth Norms and Adverse Outcomes in an Intrapartum Cohort

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To compare population versus customized fetal growth norms in identifying neonates at risk for adverse outcomes (APO) associated with small for gestational age (SGA).

Study Design

Secondary analysis of an intrapartum fetal pulse oximetry trial in nulliparous women at term. Birth weight percentiles were calculated using ethnicity- and gender-specific population norms and customized norms (Gardosi).


Of the studied neonates, 508 (9.9%) and 584 (11.3%) were SGA by population (SGApop) and customized (SGAcust) norms, respectively. SGApop infants were significantly associated with a composite adverse neonatal outcome, neonatal intensive care admission, low fetal oxygen saturation, and reduced risk of cesarean delivery; both SGApop and SGAcust infants were associated with a 5-minute Apgar score < 4. The ability of customized and population birth weight percentiles in predicting APO was poor (12 of 14 APOs had area under the curve of <0.6).


In this intrapartum cohort, neither customized nor normalized population norms adequately identified neonates at risk of APO related to SGA.

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