Reference values for fetal limb biometry at 10-14 weeks of gestation

P. De Biasio, F. Prefumo, P. B. Lantieri, P. L. Venturini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To calculate reference ranges for fetal limb measurements obtained by transabdominal ultrasound at 10-14 weeks of gestation. Methods: Six hundred and six normal fetuses were examined transabdominally in a cross-sectional study by a single observer. The crown-rump length of the fetuses ranged from 31 to 78 mm. Measurement of the length of the humerus, ulna, femur, tibia and foot was attempted from the longest section of each structure. To assess intraobserver repeatability, three sets of repeated measurements were obtained in 26 fetuses. Results: An appropriate ultrasound measurement was obtained in a percentage of cases ranging from 93.2% to 97.9%. A significant correlation was found between crown-rump length measurements and humerus length (r = 0.74, P <0.001), ulna length (r = 0.70, P <0.001), femur length (r = 0.77, P <0.001), tibia length (r = 0.69, P <0.001) and foot length (r = 0.58, P <0.001). Crown-rump length-specific reference ranges for each measurement were calculated with the method of scaled absolute residuals. The study of intraobserver variability showed coefficients of variation ranging from 7.9 to 10.0% and intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.89 to 0.94. Conclusions: Fetal limb size is strongly correlated with crown-rump length. Despite a significant biological variability of the measurements, the availability of reference ranges could be of help in the early diagnosis of fetal skeletal dysplasias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-591
Number of pages4
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • First trimester
  • Foot
  • Long bones
  • Reference values
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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