Customized fetal growth charts take account of the individual variation in the fetal growth potential based on nonpathological maternal and fetal characteristics. Application of these customized weight charts might improve the distinction between pathological growth-restricted fetuses and fetuses that are small but have reached their growth potential. Current models for customized growth standards have been based on birth weight and fetal growth data. Variables used for customization are gestational age, maternal age, parity, ethnicity, height, weight and fetal sex. Thus far, it remains controversial whether these maternal and fetal characteristics used for customization are strong enough predictors for fetal growth on an individual level and are truly physiological characteristics. The currently available customized growth charts might be of benefit for use in epidemiological studies and clinical practice. Further studies are needed to validate these customized growth models and to examine whether and to what extend they improve identification of children that are at risk for morbidity in the perinatal period and later in life.

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Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gaillard, R., & Jaddoe, V. (2014). Assessment of fetal growth by customized growth charts. In Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (Vol. 65, pp. 149–155). doi:10.1159/000361055