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OBJECTIVE: To construct new size charts for all fetal limb bones. DESIGN: A prospective, cross sectional study. SETTING: Ultrasound department of a large hospital. SAMPLE: 663 fetuses scanned once only for the purpose of the study at gestations between 12 and 42 weeks. METHODS: Centiles were estimated by combining separate regression models fitted to the mean and standard deviation, assuming that the measurements have a normal distribution at each gestational age. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Determination of fetal limb lengths from 12 to 42 weeks of gestation. RESULTS: Size charts for fetal bones (radius, ulna, humerus, tibia, fibula, femur and foot) are presented and compared with previously published data. CONCLUSIONS: We present new size charts for fetal limb bones which take into consideration the increasing variability with gestational age. We have compared these charts with other published data; the differences seen may be largely due to methodological differences. As standards for fetal head and abdominal measurements have been published from the same population, we suggest that the use of the new charts may facilitate prenatal diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias.


Journal article



Publication Date





919 - 929


Bones of Upper Extremity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Embryonic and Fetal Development, Foot Bones, Gestational Age, Humans, Leg Bones, Prospective Studies, Reference Values, Ultrasonography, Prenatal, Weights and Measures