Current Issues in the Development of Foetal Growth References and Standards

EO Ohuma, T Njim, MC Sharps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose of review
This paper discusses the current issues in the development of foetal charts and is informed by a scoping review of studies constructing charts between 2012 and 2018.

Recent findings
The scoping review of 20 articles revealed that there is still a lack of consensus on how foetal charts should be constructed and whether an international chart that can be applied across populations is feasible. Many of these charts are in clinical use today and directly affect the identification of at risk newborns that require treatment and nutritional strategies. However, there is no agreement on important design features such as inclusion and exclusion criteria; sample size and agreement on definitions such as what constitutes a healthy population of pregnant women that can be used for constructing foetal standards.

This paper therefore reiterates some of these current issues and the scoping review showcases the heterogeneity in the studies developing foetal charts between 2012 and 2018. There is no consensus on these pertinent issues and hence if not resolved will lead to continued surge of foetal reference and standard charts which will only exacerbate the current problem of not being able to make direct comparisons of foetal size and growth across populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-398
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Epidemiology Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018


  • foetal growth
  • references
  • standards
  • charts
  • foetal measurements
  • foetal biometry


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