Fetal upper arm volume (UAV) is closely related to fetal growth and nutrition status. In the past, 2-D ultrasound (US) has shown limitations in assessing fetal UAV. With the recent advancement of 3-D US, the limitation in assessing fetal UAV by 2-D US can be overcome. To establish a reference chart of fetal UAV for clinical use, a prospective and cross-sectional study using 3-D US was undertaken to assess the fetal UAV in normal pregnancy. In total, 206 singleton fetuses ranging between 20 and 40 weeks of gestation that fit the criteria of normal pregnancies were enrolled in this study. Our results showed that fetal UAV is highly correlated with the gestational age. Furthermore, using gestational age (GA) as the independent variable and UAV as the dependent variable, the best-fit regression equation was UAV (mL) = 43.546 - 4.530 × GA + 0.133 × GA2 (r = 0.913, n = 206, p < 0.0001). For further clinical use, a chart of normal growth centiles of fetal UAV in utero was then calculated based on this equation. In conclusion, we believe our data of fetal UAV assessed by 3-D US can serve as a useful reference in evaluating fetal growth and nutrition status during gestation.
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