Prediction of Small for Gestational Age: Accuracy of Different Sonographic Fetal Weight Estimation Formulas

Rinat Gabbay-Benziv*, Amir Aviram, Ron Bardin, Eran Ashwal, Nir Melamed, Liran Hiersch, Arnon Wiznitzer, Yariv Yogev, Eran Hadar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the accuracy of various sonographic estimated fetal weight (sEFW) formulas for the prediction of small for gestational age (SGA) neonates. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 6,126 fetal biometrical measurements performed within 3 days of delivery. SGA prediction was evaluated for various sEFW formulas by calculating the sensitivity, specificity, positive/negative predictive value (PPV/NPV), likelihood ratio (+LR/-LR), overall accuracy and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Systematic error, random error, proportion of estimates >10% of birth weights, actual and absolute weight differences were compared between SGA and non-SGA neonates. Results: Overall, 638 (10.4%) neonates were SGA. There was considerable variation among formulas in sensitivity (mean ± SD, 62 ± 14.4%; range, 32.4-91.2), PPV (72.5 ± 10.7%; 45.8-95.6) and +LR (24.2 ± 10.9; 7.2-57.3), mild variation in specificity (96.6 ± 2.7%; 87.4-99.4), NPV (94.6 ± 5.3%; 72.2-98.9) and -LR (0.4 ± 0.1; 0.1-0.7) and minimal variation in AUC (mean, 0.93; range, 0.91-0.93). The majority of formulas had a lower accuracy for the SGA neonates, with systematic error and random error ranging from -4.2 to 14.3% and from 8.4 to 12.9% for SGA, and from -8.7 to 16.1% and from 7.2 to 10.5% for non-SGA, respectively. Conclusion: sEFW formulas differ in their accuracy for SGA prediction. In our population, the most accurate formula for SGA prediction was Hadlock's formula utilizing femur length, abdominal and head circumference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Estimated fetal weight
  • Fetal biometry
  • Growth formulas
  • Prediction
  • Small for gestational age


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