Gestational Age and its Relationship with Elbow Width, Wrist Width and Forearm Length

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TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.30, no.6, pp.1993-1998, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Objective: Fetal development has been a subject of great interest from earliest times to the present day and can today easily be analyzed using ultrasound (US) and similar devices. The lengths or diameters of various fetal structures are measured, and intrauterine age and development can thus be monitored. Our study investigates the value of a series of lengths measured in the upper extremity in the monitoring of intrauterine age and development. Material and Methods: We measured the forearm length, hand length, wrist width and elbow widths of 21 fetuses (seven males, 14 females) estimated at 17.0-35.8 weeks intrauterine age according to foot length and with no visible abnormalities. These were compared to each other and analyzed with respect to gender. Measurements were taken using dividers and a vernier digital caliper. Results: No differences were determined between the groups statistically for the parameters measured and when they were compared for gender. Elbow and wrist widths and hand, forearm and foot lengths obtained from fetuses and the ratios of some of these measurements demonstrated considerable correlation (similarity) with measurements and proportions on the opposite side of the body and with intrauterine age. Conclusion: Measurable wrist and elbow widths and forearm, hand and foot length in whole or fragmented fetuses were determined to be individually valuable in diagnosing gestational age. It was also concluded that elbow and wrist width to forearm length ratios on the same side were important in monitoring intrauterine extremity development.