Heterogeneity in fetal growth velocity

Heterogeneity in fetal growth velocity


Fetal growth quality is associated with susceptibility to non-communicable diseases. Fetal size has been conventionally assessed using the averaged growth chart, but fetal growth velocity has recently been attracting attention as another important aspect of fetal development. Since fetal growth velocity may reflect fetal response to various conditions during the developmental process within the maternal constraint, it is reasonable to imagine that there might exist a physiological diversity in growth velocity patterns over time, which has never been explored. We conducted a retrospective cohort study designed to evaluate the heterogeneity of fetal growth velocity in singleton pregnancies in the Japanese population. We leveraged the high frequency of prenatal checkup to collect large numbers of ultrasound measurements of every fetus (N = 801) and computationally analyzed individual changes in growth per week. Latent class trajectory analysis identified three distinct velocity patterns. The variation in growth velocity appeared in the third trimester and corresponded to the differences in neonatal size. This heterogeneity was not simply explained by maternal factors and fetal sex, although those factors had time-varying effects on fetal size. Our findings regarding the heterogeneity in fetal growth velocity will aid in the comprehensive understanding of fetal development quality.

Journal Article

JOURNAL:Scientific Reports

TITLE:Heterogeneity in fetal growth velocity


Correspondence to

Noriko SATO, Associate Professor
Department of Molecular Epidemiology
Medical Research Institute
Tokyo Medical and Dental University(TMDU)

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