Sonographic vs. Clinical estimation of foetal weight at term

Original article


Mustafa Gawass, Ramadan Algantri, Emdalla Alashig, Lubna Almaghur and Elham Abdulla

Department of Gynaecology and obstetric Faculty of Medicine Al-Fateh university and Tripoli Medical Centre. Tripoli-Libya

JMJ Vol. 6, No. 2 (2006): 116-119


Objective: to compare the accuracy of clinical foetal weight estimation to 3 different ultrasound formulae in predicting the actual foetal weight. Method: Prospective analysis of 189 pregnant ladies from (1- 4- 2005 to 1-8-2005). The study included patients admitted to the antenatal ward for planned delivery or in early labour and the information was taken from the patient’s chart. Patients included in the study were singleton, non diabetic pregnancies with intact membranes, gestational age from (37- 42 wks) and vertex presentation. Measurements were taken within 7-days of the delivery. The ultrasound and clinical assessment were carried out by one observer at registrar level. We used 3 different ultrasound formulas; the formula of our ultrasound (expression C), Hadlock’s formula, and Robert’s formula. Results: The most accurate method of predicted foetal weight was the clinical method with a mean percentage of error 3.43 (CI 1.36 to 5.49) compared with our ultrasound formula (expression C) which was -4.59 with 95% CI (-6.0 to -3.1) and both Hadlock and Robert’s formulae had a higher percentage of error (5.95, and 7.33) respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the percentage of error detected clinically and by our ultrasound formula. (T-test -7.852 with p value < 0.0001). There was also a positive correlation between symphysial-fundal height and the actual birth weight which was statistically significant (r= 0.39), p<0.001. Conclusion: when carried out by an experienced obstetrician clinical assesment is accurate in estimating foetal weight. It appears that ultrasound formulae including the femoral length are less accurate than those without. Keywords: Ultrasound, Foetal weight, Clinical estimation Link/DOI: