Preliminary dating and growth assessment

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This can be performed using look-up tables or charts, but, as it is easier to identify any deviation from normal by plotting measurements on charts, the use of charts is recommended and the clinical evidence supports their efficacy.

The detection of a potential abnormal growth by means of intrauterine fetal parameters during pregnancy was proposed by serial US scans by Lubchenco [1], Usher and Mc Lean [2], and Babson and Benda [3], more than five decades ago, and fetal growth assessment is a well-established and mature research field in obstetrics and gynecology [4–6].

Many, however, have a suboptimal design, using a hospital-based population or having an inappropriate sample size.

The proliferation of further studies on specific subgroups of patients [8–12] and the related proposal of an ever increasing number of reference charts were characterized by a considerable methodological heterogeneity, making them difficult to use for diagnostic purposes.

To preserve the feasibility of the approach without losing diagnostic power, some authors proposed the adoption of purposely developed software tools (Web Applications, Mobile Application, etc.) allowing us to create customized growth charts [13, 14], based on a regression model fitted to a very large group of newborns.

Cases with low birth weight, preterm delivery, or other prenatal complications were not excluded from analysis.Starting from the development of a growth chart purposely built for a specific population, in the paper, authors quantify and analyse the impact of the adoption of wrong growth charts on fetal diagnoses.These results come from a preliminary evaluation of a new open service developed to produce personalized growth charts for specific ethnicity, lifestyle, and other parameters.Nevertheless, fetal growth is influenced by a variety of factors, racial, social, and economic among others, as well as specific medical conditions that may preexist or that may develop during pregnancy.Hence, it is not surprising that fetal biometric parameters show high degree of variation in evaluated population from country to country and from area to area, within the same country.

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