Fetal Growth Restriction

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Normal fetal growth is determined by the genetically predetermined growth potential and further modulated by maternal, fetal, placental, and external factors. Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a failure to reach this potential and is clinically suspected if sonographic estimates of fetal weight, size, or symmetry are abnormal. Integration of fetal anatomy assessment, amniotic fluid dynamics, uterine, umbilical, and fetal middle cerebral artery Doppler is the most effective approach to differentiate potentially manageable placenta-based FGR from aneuploidy, nonaneuploid syndromes, and viral infection. Although placental dysfunction results in a multisystem fetal syndrome with impacts on short- and long-term outcome, only cardiovascular and behavioral responses are helpful to guide surveillance and intervention. Early-onset FGR before 34 weeks gestation is readily recognized but challenging to manage as questions about optimal delivery timing remain unanswered. In contrast, near-term FGR provides less of a management challenge but is often missed as clinical findings are more subtle. Once placenta-based FGR is diagnosed, integrating multivessel Doppler and biophysical profile score provides information on longitudinal progression of placental dysfunction and degree of fetal acidemia, respectively. Choosing appropriate monitoring intervals based on anticipated disease acceleration and intervention when fetal risks exceed neonatal risks are the prevailing current management approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Doppler ultrasound
  • antenatal surveillance
  • biophysical profile scoring
  • fetal growth restriction
  • placental dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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