Perinatal correlates and neonatal outcomes of small for gestational age infants born at term gestation.

Research paper by B A BA Doctor, M A MA O'Riordan, H L HL Kirchner, D D Shah, M M Hack

Indexed on: 25 Sep '01Published on: 25 Sep '01Published in: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology


We sought to examine the current perinatal correlates and neonatal morbidity associated with intrauterine growth failure among neonates born at term gestation.We compared 372 small for gestational age (SGA, birth weight <10th percentile) infants born at term gestation to 372 appropriate for gestational age controls (AGA, birth weight 10th to 90th percentile) matched by sex, race, and gestational age within 2 weeks.Compared with AGA controls, significant (P < .05) maternal risk factors for SGA status included single marital status (59% versus 53%), lower prepregnancy weight (144 +/- 41 lbs versus 153 +/- 40 lbs), lower weight gain during pregnancy (29 +/- 15 lbs versus 33 +/- 15 lbs), smoking (25% versus 17%), hypertension (14% versus 7%), and multiple gestation (9% versus 2%). Mothers of SGA infants were more likely to undergo multiple (>or=3) antenatal ultrasound evaluations (19% versus 7%), biophysical profile monitoring (11% versus 4%), and oxytocin delivery induction (28% versus 16%) (P < .05). Pediatrician attendance was more common among SGA deliveries (50% versus 37%, P < .05). SGA infants had significantly higher rates of hypothermia (18% versus 6%) and symptomatic hypoglycemia (5% versus 1%). These neonatal problems remained significant even when medical or pathologic causes of intrauterine growth failure, including pregnancy hypertension, multiple gestation, and congenital malformations, were excluded.Despite higher rates of pregnancy complications among mothers of SGA infants, the rates of neonatal adverse outcomes are low. However, SGA infants remain at risk for hypothermia and hypoglycemia and require careful neonatal surveillance.