Mid-arm circumference/head circumference ratios (MAC/HC) and birth weights obtained in 73 neonates were studied to compare which of these growth measurements could more accurately predict risk of metabolic complications resulting from either acceleration or retardation of fetal growth. The MAC/HC ratio was more sensitive than birth weight in distinguishing (1) symptomatic large for gestational age (LGA) infants who were born to diabetic mothers from other LGA infants who were asymptomatic, and (2) symptomatic from asymptomatic small for gestational age infants. In addition, the MAC/HC ratio identified symptomatic appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants born to diabetic mothers and AGA infants with signs and symptoms of growth retardation. The MAC/HC is more useful than birth weight in assessing newborn infants at risk for the metabolic complications associated with fetal growth disorders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
In 1967 Battaglia and Lubchenco ~ proposed a classification for newborn infants based on birth weight and gestational age, with the purpose of identifying infants who were either too large or too small for gestational age. Since then, categorizing neonates as large, small, or appropriate for gestational age has become routine nursery practice for the screening of neonates at risk for metabolic disorders Presented in part at the annual meetings of The American College of Nutrition, Boston, September 1984, and the Western Society for Pediatric Research, Carmel, California, February 1985. Supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health. Submitted for publication Feb. 3, 1986; accepted March 26, 1986. Reprint requests: Michael K. Georgieff, M.D., Box 39, The University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, Harvard St. at East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455.