The role of growth trajectories in classifying fetal growth restriction.
Barker ED., McAuliffe FM., Alderdice F., Unterscheider J., Daly S., Geary MP., Kennelly MM., O'Donoghue K., Hunter A., Morrison JJ., Burke G., Dicker P., Tully EC., Malone FD.
ObjectiveTo examine the validity of a growth trajectory method to discriminate between pathologically and constitutionally undergrown fetuses using repeated measures of estimated fetal weight.MethodsIn a prospective, observational, multicenter study in Ireland, 1,116 women with a growth-restricted fetus diagnosed participated with the objective of evaluating ultrasound findings as predictors of pediatric morbidity and mortality. Fetal growth trajectories were based on estimated fetal weight.ResultsBetween 22 weeks of gestation and term, two fetal growth trajectories were identified: normal (96.7%) and pathologic (3.3%). Compared with the normal trajectory, the pathologic trajectory was associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia (odds ratio [OR] 8.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.6-23.4), increased umbilical artery resistance at 30 weeks of gestation (OR 12.6, 95% CI 4.6-34.1) or 34 weeks of gestation (OR 28.0, 95% CI 8.9-87.7), reduced middle cerebral artery resistance at 30 weeks of gestation (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.12-0.96) or 34 weeks of gestation (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03-0.74), lower gestational age at delivery (mean 32.02 weeks of gestation compared with 38.02 weeks of gestation; PConclusionsFetal growth trajectory analysis reliably differentiated fetuses with a pathologic growth pattern among a group of women with growth-restricted fetuses. With further development, this approach could provide clarity to how we define, identify, and ultimately manage pathologic fetal growth.Level of evidenceII.