Ultrasonographic correlation of fetal palatal length with fetal biometry
Background: Accurate calculation of gestational age is of utmost importance to determine whether fetal growth is appropriate-for-gestational age. Fetal weight estimation by ultrasound using fetal biometric scales is the most agreed and popular fetal growth tracking standard. Several formulas (based on regression analysis) have been developed for estimation of fetal weight.
Objective: The primary aim of this work was to assess if there is a correlation of fetal palatal length with fetal biometry using ultrasonography, to assess the relationship between length of fetal hard palate and gestational age, to assess the relationship between length of fetal hard palate and fetal size, and to assess feasibility of incorporation of these findings into new formulas to predict fetal weight and gestational age from the measurement of hard palate.
Methods: observational prospective cohort study conducted for 225 pregnant women between 20-36 weeks of gestation, with low risk pregnancies. Measurement of length of fetal hard palate was done by different ultrasound techniques.
Results: there was a statistically significant correlation between fetal palatine length and fetal growth along gestational age. Equations were developed to estimate gestational age and fetal weight using length of fetal palate.
Conclusion: it was concluded that there was a linear correlation between fetal palatine length and gestational age and fetal weight which was statistically significant between 20-36 weeks of gestation. Incorporation of fetal palatine length into equations to estimate gestational age and fetal weight was feasible, applicable and showed an excellent level of agreement with the widely used Hadlock formulas.