Estimation of Foetal Weight by Clinical Examination and Ultrasound Methods in Predicting Actual Birth Weight: A Narrative Study

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Dr. Raziyeh Mossayebnezdad
Dr. Maryam Niknam
Dr. Sedigheh Pakseresht


Background: Foetal weight is one of the most important factors in the management of prenatal care. The knowledge of the weight of the foetus helps obstetrician to decide on the mode of delivery. Assessment of foetal weight is essential in detecting neonatal complications.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical methods and ultrasound methods for predicting foetal weight.

Materials & Methods: This was a narrative study performed by searching articles published in the Persian and English databases SID, GOOGLE SCHOLAR, PUBMED, SCOPUS and WEB OF SCIENCE. Articles were searched between January 2014 and December 2018 by using the keywords such as Estimation, Foetal weight, Clinical methods, Johnson's formula, Dare's formula, Dawn's formula and Ultrasound.

Results: Out of 73 articles, 32 articles were reviewed. The results indicated that Dare's formula is superior among the clinical methods and in the ultrasound method Headlock's formula has the highest accuracy.

Conclusions: The results of most studies showed a significant direct correlation between estimated and actual birth weight for all the methods. Dare's formula is better than ultrasound method for estimating foetal weight. Also Dare's formula can be important in developing countries such as our country, where ultrasound is not available in remote areas. Clinical methods are easy and simple for estimation of foetal weight. So, we suggest clinical methods to be used to estimate foetal weight and the need of training among medical and health service providers.

Keywords: Estimate foetal weight; Clinical methods; Johnson formula; Dare formula; Dawn formula; Ultrasonography

Published Apr 2, 2019

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