OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine the usefulness and accuracy of the three-dimensional ultrasonography assessed fetal upper-arm volume in predicting birth weight. STUDY DESIGN: From June 1996 to October 1996 we performed a prospective study of ultrasonography on 105 pregnant women without fetal structural anomaly or aneuploidy. Both the traditional two- dimensional ultrasonographic parameters and three-dimensional ultrasonography for fetal upper arm volume were measured within 48 hours of delivery. RESULTS: The upper arm volume correlated well with birth weight (r = 0.92, n = 105, p < 0.0001). With use of linear and polynomial regression, we obtained a best-fit new formula, Birth weight = 1088.60 + 36.024 x Upper-arm volume. The accuracy of this new formula is compared with that of two Chinese equations predicting fetal weight reported before and other formulas commonly used in the world as well. Our formula is more accurate in predicting birth weight than all the other formulas by traditional two-dimensional ultrasonography, either in error, percentage error, or absolute error. Another group by prospective validation further proved this finding. CONCLUSION: The upper-arm volume assessed by three-dimensional ultrasonography can accurately predict birth weight, and its accuracy is superior to the previous formulas. Our study has at least validated the application of upper-arm volume by three-dimensional ultrasonography in estimating fetal weight. Further larger series are needed to confirm our findings.
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