NIH Director's Seminar: Novel measures of fetal growth and development: state of the art tools to assess fetal health


Dr. Katherine Laughon Grantz

Wilson Hall, NIH Building 1; and NIH Videocast

The first NIH Director's Seminar of 2024 will be presented by IRP senior investigator Katherine Grantz, M.D.

Healthy fetal growth is essential for newborn well-being, pediatric development, and subsequent adult health consistent with the developmental origins of health and disease hypothesis. Both fetal undergrowth and overgrowth portend adverse outcomes and require clinical intervention. Fetal growth is often assessed by ultrasonographic measurement of two-dimensional (2D) fetal biometrics to calculate an estimated fetal weight (EFW) that is then compared against a standard. However, EFW is a poor measure of actual growth. Recently, more sophisticated measures have been developed including three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound that permit the analysis of volume pixels (voxels) for specific anatomic regions of a developing fetus. Such analytic tools now allow the examiner to quantify fetal soft tissue and organ volume parameters in ways not possible using conventional 2D ultrasound. Dr. Grantz will discuss developing standards for fetal size and growth velocity and show how new measures of fetal growth identify fetuses at risk for abnormal growth, adverse outcomes, and poorer health in postnatal life.

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This page was last updated on Friday, December 22, 2023