Appropriate-for-gestational-age infants who exhibit reduced antenatal growth velocity display postnatal catch-up growth
AuthorMcLaughlin, EJ; Hiscock, RJ; Robinson, AJ; Hui, L; Tong, S; Dane, KM; Middleton, AL; Walker, SP; MacDonald, TM
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sHiscock, Richard; Walker, Susan; Tong, Stephen; Hui, Lisa; McLaughlin, Emma; MacDonald, Teresa; Middleton, Anna
AffiliationObstetrics and Gynaecology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMcLaughlin, E. J., Hiscock, R. J., Robinson, A. J., Hui, L., Tong, S., Dane, K. M., Middleton, A. L., Walker, S. P. & MacDonald, T. M. (2020). Appropriate-for-gestational-age infants who exhibit reduced antenatal growth velocity display postnatal catch-up growth. PLOS ONE, 15 (9), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238700.
Access StatusOpen Access
NHMRC Grant codeNHMRC/1065854
BACKGROUND: Postnatally, small-for-gestational-age (SGA; birthweight <10th centile) infants who are growth restricted due to uteroplacental insufficiency (UPI) demonstrate 'catch-up growth' to meet their genetically-predetermined size. Infants who demonstrate slowing growth during pregnancy are those that cross estimated fetal weight centiles at serial ultrasound examinations. These infants that slow in growth but are born appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA; ≥10th centile), exhibit antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal indicators of UPI. Here, we examine if and when these infants (labelled as AGA-FGR) also demonstrate catch-up growth like SGA infants, when compared with AGA infants with normal antenatal growth velocity (AGA-NG). METHODS: We followed-up the infants of women who had previously undergone ultrasound assessment of fetal size at 28- and 36-weeks' gestation, enabling calculation of antenatal growth velocity. To assess postnatal growth, we asked parents to send their infant's growth measurements, up to two years post-birth, which are routinely collected through the state-wide Maternal-Child Health service. Infants with medical conditions affecting postnatal growth were excluded from the analysis. From the measurements obtained we calculated age-adjusted z-scores for postnatal weight, length and body mass index (BMI; weight(kg)/height(m2)) at birth and 4, 8, 12, 18 and 24 months. We used linear spline regression modelling to predict mean weight, length and BMI z-scores at intervals post birth. Predicted mean age-adjusted z-scores were then compared between three groups; SGA, AGA with low antenatal growth (AGA-FGR; loss of >20 customised estimated fetal weight centiles), and AGA-NG to determine if catch-up growth occurred. In addition, we compared the rates of catch-up growth (defined as an increase in weight age-adjusted z-score of ≥0.67 over 1 year) between the groups with Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: Of 158 (46%) infant growth records received, 146 were AGA, with low antenatal growth velocity occurring in 34/146 (23.2%). Rates of gestational diabetes and SGA birthweight were higher in those lost to follow-up. Compared to AGA-NG infants, AGA-FGR infants had significantly lower predicted mean weight (p<0.001), length (p = 0.04) and BMI (p = 0.001) z-scores at birth. These significant differences were no longer evident at 4 months, suggesting that catch-up growth had occurred. As expected, the catch-up growth that occurred among the AGA-FGR was not as great in magnitude as that demonstrated by the SGA. When assessed categorically, there was no significant difference between the rate of catch-up growth among the AGA-FGR and the SGA. Catch-up growth was significantly more frequent among both the AGA-FGR and the SGA groups compared to the AGA-NG. CONCLUSIONS: AGA infants that have exhibited reduced antenatal fetal growth velocity also exhibit significant catch-up growth in the first 12 months of life. This finding represents further evidence that AGA fetuses that slow in growth during pregnancy do so due to UPI.
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