Paediatrics: Intrauterine growth retardation

2021-03-02 12:00 AM

IUGR refers to reduction and restriction in expected foetal growth pattern.

Intrauterine growth retardation

IUGR refers to reduction and restriction in expected foetal growth pattern. IUGR affects 3–10% of pregnancies and 20% of still-born infants are thought to have evidence of IUGR. Perinatal mortality rates are 4–8 times higher for growth-retarded infants, and morbidity is present in 50% of surviving infants.

Growth outcome

In placental causes of IUGR, ‘catch-up growth’ occurs after birth in the majority of infants during the first 1–2yrs of life, with infants regaining their genetically determined weight and height centiles. However, in approximately 15–20% of infants with IUGR, catchup growth does not occur and patients are at risk of short stature. Recent studies also implicate IUGR in adult-onset of hypertension and CHD, and in early onset obesity, polycystic ovarian disease, and type 2 diabetes. These studies suggest that IUGR has long-term effects on insulin sensitivity and on endocrine function.