Ultrasonographic assessment of bone maturity in newborns

Eyal Leshem, Viktor Bialik*, Ze'ev Hochberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Traditionally, the bone maturity at birth has been estimated from the radiological presence and size of the ossified distal femoral epiphysis. This study was conducted in a search for a sonographic tool for the evaluation of neonatal bone maturity. Methods: We examined sonographically 256 neonates within 24 h of birth. Gestational ages ranged from 36 to 42 weeks (mean: 39.4; median: 40). Birth weights ranged from 1,945 to 5,000 g (mean: 3,175; median: 3,180). The distal femoral epiphysis was imaged on the coronal plane sonogram of the distal femur with the knee at 90°flexion and the distal femoral epiphysis maximal height was recorded. The acetabulum was imaged using Graf's method in the coronal plane image and the acetabular diameter recorded. Results: It was found that plotting the distal femoral epiphysis against neonatal birth weight and gestational age provided a simple method for assessing the bone maturity. According to our study, a neonate can be regarded as bone maturity percentile X when plotting distal femoral epiphysis height or acetabulum diameter against birth weight and gestational age or when averaging the four readings. Conclusions: We suggest performing sonography of the distal femoral epiphysis as a bedside tool for the assessment of skeletal maturity in newborns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetabulum
  • Bone maturity
  • Distal femoral epiphysis secondary ossification center
  • Newborn
  • Sonography


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