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Pattern and Process of Growth of the Abnormal Human Fetus

RICHARD J. SHERWOOD, HAYNES B. ROBINSON, RICHARD S. MEINDL and RICHARD L. MAY
Human Biology
Vol. 69, No. 6 (December 1997), pp. 849-871
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41465608
Page Count: 23
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Pattern and Process of Growth of the Abnormal Human Fetus
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Abstract

Identifying patterns of fetal growth alteration benefits both the clinician and the researcher. Twenty-four measurements in three variable sets (anthropometrie measures, organ weights, and long-bone measures from radiographs) were taken on fetuses both with and without pathological conditions that are suspected to result in growth alteration. In addition, radiographs of each case were examined for the presence or absence of ossification centers. Based on least-squares regressions of the normal group, we calculated standardized residuals for the affected group to identify patterns of growth alteration. A large sample of fetuses between 15 and 42 weeks of gestational age with a variety of pathological conditions is described and evaluated for growth alterations. Symmetric and asymmetric growth alteration was detected in a small part of the sample and was predominantly isolated to fetuses in the late third trimester. Although patterns of growth alteration have been suggested as a means for noninvasive diagnoses of syndromes (such as trisomy 21), no consistent patterns are discernible in the current group. The sample provides a unique opportunity to evaluate fetal growth in terms of the interaction between genetic and environmental influences.

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