It is estimated that about 10% of the general pregnant population would screen for fetal growth restriction, but doctors have no idea how to determine if a patient meets guidelines for screening as steadfast guidelines for screening do not exist. A new study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada attempts to set the foundation for such guidelines.
Research was collected from various medical publications and study literature from PubMed, The Cochrane Library and other sources. Pregnancies resulting in the birth of a healthy, normal weight infant were compared to pregnancies resulting in a pregnancy affected by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). The effort was made to find similarities in the pregnancies affected by intrauterine growth restriction, which could subsequently lead to a list of possible symptoms doctors could use to determine pregnant women who may be affected.
Results: The ultimate tool for determining the risk of intrauterine growth restriction is the ultrasound, though researchers note the importance of accurate pregnancy dating. A detailed menstrual history should be taken to better determine gestational age. The menstrual history, when paired with fetal measurements taken during ultrasound (femur length, head circumference, and abdominal circumference). It is also important to take any assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to achieve pregnancy into consideration. Once diagnosed, fetal growth should be monitored and the risk of stillbirth or premature delivery should be considered.
Source: Lausman A, Kingdom J; Maternal Fetal Medicine Committee, Gagnon R, Basso M, Bos H, Crane J, Davies G, Delisle MF, Hudon L, Menticoglou S, Mundle W, Ouellet A, Pressey T, Pylypjuk C, Roggensack A, Sanderson F. Intrauterine growth restriction: screening, diagnosis, and management. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Aug;35(8):741-8.