Liver volume (LIVV) is very important in determining the status of fetal growth. However, to measure human fetal LIVV in utero precisely and noninvasively is not an easy task. With the recent advancement of three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound (US), the limitation in assessing fetal LIVV by 2-D US can be overcome. The purpose of this study was to establish a normal reference chart of fetal LIVV for clinical use. A prospective and cross-sectional study using 3-D US was undertaken to assess the fetal LIVV in normal pregnancy. In total, 226 singleton fetuses ranging between 20 and 40 weeks of gestation and fitting the criteria of normal pregnancies were enrolled in this study. Our results showed that fetal LIVV is highly correlated with the gestational age (GA). Furthermore, using GA as the independent variable and fetal LIVV as the dependent variable, the best-fit regression equation was LIVV (mL) = -398.26 + 46.199 ×GA - 1.7567 × GA2 + 0.0236 × GA3 (r = 0.97, n = 226, p < 0.0001), with SD of LIVV (mL) = 1.2533 × (0.77956 + 0.17267 × GA). These common indexes of fetal biometry, such as biparietal diameter (BPD), occipitofrontal diameter (OFD), head circumference (HCi), abdominal circumference (ACi), femur length (FL), and estimated fetal weight (EFW), were all highly correlated with fetal LIVV (all p < 0.0001). In conclusion, our data of fetal LIVV assessed by 3-D US can serve as a useful reference in evaluating fetal growth status during normal gestation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics