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Prognosis and risk factors for intrauterine growth retardation

Line Thousig Sehested¹ & Pernille Pedersen²

14. apr. 2014
2 min.


Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) is the term describing a foetus that has not reached its genetic growth potential. There is no international consensus on the definition of IUGR. The aim of this study was to describe a cohort of weight-restricted neonates and their mothers focusing on risk factors, catch up and neonatal outcome.


This was a retrospective descriptive study of IUGR neonates with a birth weight below 70% of the expected whose mothers were admitted to the Neonatal Ward at Hvidovre Hospital during 2007-2009. Obstetrical and maternal risk factors and neonatal growth and outcome at six weeks, five months and 12 months of age were collected.


A total of 73 neonates and their mothers were included. Caesarean delivery was given in 78% of the cases. Maternal risk factors included gestational hypertension (33%), smoking (24%) and placental infarction (17%). Hypoglycaemic episodes developed in 31% of the neonates. At 12 months, 90% had caught up growth and 7% had a neurologically poor outcome. No infants died.


Maternal smoking and gestational hypertension are important risk factors for the development of IUGR. Special attention must be given to reducing the risk of hypoglycaemia. More
studies are needed. Our purpose was to underline the need for a consensus on the definition of IUGR, catch-up and follow-up programmes in order to compare results in the future.


Not relevant.


Not relevant.

CORRESPONDENCE: Line Thousig Sehested. E-mail:

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at

REFERENCE: Dan Med J 2014;61(4):A4826