Fetal size charts for the Italian population. Normative curves of head, abdomen and long bones

Dario Paladini, Mariangela Rustico, Elsa Viora, Umberto Giani, Dario Bruzzese, Mario Campogrande, Pasquale Martinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe size charts developed from fetuses of Italian couples. Method: Prospective cross-sectional investigation conducted in three referral centers for prenatal diagnosis. The population of the study included fetuses between the 16th and the 40th week of gestation recruited prospectively and examined only once for the purpose of this study. Exclusion criteria comprised all maternal and/or fetal conditions possibly affecting fetal biometry. The following biometric variables were measured: biparietal diameter, head circumference, abdominal circumference, femur, tibia, humerus, ulna and radio length. The statistical procedure recommended for analyzing this type of data set was employed to derive normal ranges and percentiles. Birthweight was also recorded. Our centiles were then compared with results from other studies. Results: The best-fitted regression model to describe the relationships between head circumference and abdominal circumference and gestational age was a cubic one, whereas a simple quadratic model fitted BPD, and length of long bones. Models fitting the SD were straight lines or quadratic curves. Neither the use of fractional polynomials (the greatest power of the polynomials being 3) nor the logarithmic transformation improved the fitting of the curves. Conclusion: We have established size charts for fetuses from Italian couples using the recommended statistical approach. Since the mean birthweight in this study is not statistically different from the official birthweight reported for the Italian population, these reference intervals, developed according to the currently approved statistical methodology, can be employed during second- and third-trimester obstetric ultrasound of fetuses from Italian couples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-464
Number of pages9
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Fetal biometry
  • Head biometry
  • Italian population
  • Long bones
  • Size curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fetal size charts for the Italian population. Normative curves of head, abdomen and long bones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this