First-trimester fetal limb biometry in Chinese population

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To establish reference ranges for fetal limb biometry obtained by transabdominal ultrasound examination at 12-14 weeks of gestation in Chinese women.


A total of 1489 normal singleton fetuses between 12+0 and 14+6 weeks of gestation were examined transabdominally by two experienced observers. The gestation was ascertained by measurement of fetal crown-rump length (CRL) or biparietal diameter (BPD) and head circumference (HC). The lengths of the humerus and femur were prospectively worked out.


Gestation-specific reference ranges for limb measurements were calculated. The femur length (FL) (mean ± SD) was 9.15 ± 1.44 mm at 12-12+6 weeks, 11.45 ± 1.35 mm at 13-13+6 weeks, and 13.64 ± 1.60 mm at 14-14+6 weeks; the corresponding humerus length (HL) (mean ± SD) was 9.63 ± 1.44 mm, 12.01 ± 1.41 mm, 14.29 ± 1.48 mm, respectively.


There was a general increase in fetal limb biometry with gestation. Fetal limb length can be an early marker of early growth restriction as well as fetal skeletal dysplasia among women in the local population.

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