Three-dimensional ultrasound-assessed fetal thigh volumetry in predicting birth weight

Fong Ming Chang, Ren Ing Liang, Huei Chen Ko, Bor Lin Yao, Chiung Hsin Chang, Chen Hsiang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the accuracy of three-dimensional ultrasound- assessed fetal thigh volumetry in predicting birth weight with that of other commonly used formulas composed of biparietal diameter (BPD), abdominal circumference (AC), and femur length (FL) by two-dimensional ultrasound. Methods: We assessed the thigh volume of 100 fetuses using three-dimensional ultrasound. Meanwhile, their BPD, AC, and FL were measured by two-dimensional ultrasound. All infants were delivered within 48 hours after the ultrasound examinations. From polynomial regression analysis, we generated a best-fit formula for the thigh volume to predict birth weight. The accuracy of this thigh-volume formula was compared with those of three formulas commonly used in the United States. In addition, another group of 50 fetuses was measured for prospective validation. Results: The thigh volume assessed by three- dimensional ultrasound was highly correlated with birth weight (r = 0.89, n = 100, P < .0001). The best-fit formula for thigh volume to predict birth weight was linear, and it was superior to the other commonly used two- dimensional formulas in predicting birth weight. The predicting error (0 g), percent error (0.7%), absolute error (176.1 g), and absolute percent error (5.8%) of the thigh-volume formula were all smaller than those of the other formulas (n = 100, all P < .05). In addition, the thigh-volume formula predicted birth weight more accurately than the other two-dimensional formulas in the prospective-validation group. The three-dimensional formula had smaller mean values of predicting error (38.6 g), percent error (1.5%), absolute error (160.0 g), and absolute percent error (5.1%) than the two- dimensional formulas (n = 30, all P ≤ .001), as well as the smallest variances of the above errors (178.1 g, 5.6%, 84.3 g, and 2.9%, respectively). Conclusion: The three-dimensional ultrasound-assessed thigh volume has better accuracy in predicting birth weight than the commonly used formulas by two-dimensional ultrasound, and it may improve fetal weight prediction in clinical practice. However, a large-scale prospective validation study may be needed to confirm our conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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