The effect of fetal sex on customized fetal growth charts

Giuseppe Rizzo, Federico Prefumo, Enrico Ferrazzi, Cristina Zanardini, Daniela Di Martino, Simona Boito, Elisa Aiello, Tullio Ghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the effect of fetal sex on singleton pregnancy growth charts customized for parental characteristics, race, and parity Methods: In a multicentric cross-sectional study, 8070 ultrasonographic examinations from low-risk singleton pregnancies between 16 and 40 weeks of gestation were considered. The fetal measurements obtained were biparietal diameter (BPD), head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC), and femur length (FL). Quantile regression was used to examine the impact of fetal sex across the biometric percentiles of the fetal measurements considered together with parents’ height, weight, parity, and race. Results: Fetal gender resulted to be a significant covariate for BDP, HC, and AC with higher values for male fetuses (p ≤ 0.0009). Minimal differences were found among sexes for FL. Parity, maternal race, paternal height and maternal height, and weight resulted significantly related to the fetal biometric parameters considered independently from fetal gender. Conclusion: In this study, we constructed customized biometric growth charts for fetal sex, parental, and obstetrical characteristics using quantile regression. The use of gender-specific charts offers the advantage to define individualized normal ranges of fetal biometric parameters at each specific centile. This approach may improve the antenatal identification of abnormal fetal growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3768-3775
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Customized growth chart
  • fetal biometry
  • gender difference
  • quantile regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of fetal sex on customized fetal growth charts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this