Measurement of abdominal circumference in preterm infants

Ilze Meldere, Valdis Urtans, Aigars Petersons, Zane Abola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Body weight, length and head and thoracic circumference are routinely measured in obstetric and neonatal departments. Reference values for these measurements have been established for the neonatal population. Neonatal abdominal circumference is not routinely measured, and no reference values for this measurement have been determined. To evaluate the increase in abdominal circumference in newborns with abdominal pathology such as necrotizing enterocolitis, information about normal abdominal circumference in healthy neonates shortly after birth is needed. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between abdominal circumference and birth weight by measuring the abdominal circumference of premature neonates soon after birth. Methods: Abdominal circumference was measured within 30 min of birth in 220 neonates born between 23 and 35 weeks' gestation. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in abdominal circumference between boys and girls in the study population. A specific formula for estimating normal abdominal circumference was developed: y = 0.0053x + 14.83 (y = abdominal circumference in cm; x = body weight in g; 0.0053 = regression coefficient; 14.83 = regression constant). Conclusion: A positive linear correlation between abdominal circumference and birth weight was found in infants at birth. The correlation can be summarized as a linear regression equation. Further studies are needed to investigate possible factors associated with abdominal circumference in fed versus unfed preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number725
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2015


  • Abdominal circumference
  • Anthropometric measurements
  • Premature newborn

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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