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Growth Parameters in Neonates

(Length, Weight, Head Circumference)

By

Robert L. Stavis

, PhD, MD

Last full review/revision Jul 2019| Content last modified Jul 2019
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Growth parameters and gestational age help identify the risk of neonatal pathology. Growth is influenced by genetic and nutritional factors as well as intrauterine conditions. Growth parameters assessed at birth help predict subsequent growth and development and risk of disease. The parameters are length, weight, and head circumference.

By plotting weight vs gestational age, each infant is classified at birth as

The Fenton growth charts (see Figure: Fenton growth chart for preterm boys and see Figure: Fenton growth chart for preterm girls) provide a more precise assessment of growth vs gestational age for all three parameters.

Fenton growth chart for preterm boys

Fenton T, Kim J: A systematic review and meta-analysis to revise the Fenton growth chart for preterm infants. BMC Pediatrics 13:59, 2013; used with permission. Available at www.biomedcentral.com.

Fenton growth chart for preterm boys

Fenton growth chart for preterm girls

Fenton T, Kim J: A systematic review and meta-analysis to revise the Fenton growth chart for preterm infants. BMC Pediatrics 13:59, 2013; used with permission. Available at www.biomedcentral.com.

Fenton growth chart for preterm girls
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