Accuracy and reliability of ultrasound estimation of fetal weight in women with a singleton term pregnancy

Reena Sharma, Rohit Bhoil, Poojan Dogra, Sushruti Kaushal, Ajay Sharma


Background: Prenatal estimation of birth-weight is of utmost importance to predict the mode of delivery. This is also an important parameter of antenatal care. This study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of estimated fetal weight by ultrasound, compared with actual birth weight.

Methods: This was a prospective and comparative study comprising 110 pregnant women at term. Patients who had their sonography done within 7 days from date of delivery were included. Fetal weight was estimated by Hadlock 2 formula, the software of which was preinstalled in ultrasound-machine. The estimated fetal weight was compared to the post-delivery birth-weight. The Pearson's correlation coefficient was used and the accuracy of sonographic fetal weight estimation was evaluated using mean error, mean absolute error, mean percentage error, mean absolute percentage error and proportion of estimates within 10% of actual birth weight.

Results: Mean estimated and actual birth weights were 3120.8±349.4 gm and 3088.2±404.5 g respectively. There was strong positive correlation between estimated fetal weight and actual birth weight (r = 0.58, p<0.001). The mean percentage error and mean absolute percentage error of ultrasound fetal weight estimations were 1.96±11.8% and 8.7±8.2% respectively. The percentage of estimates within ±10% of the actual birth weight was found to be 67.3%. In 23% of the cases, ultrasound overestimated the birth weight. In 13% of the cases, ultrasound underestimated the birth weight.

Conclusions: There was strong positive correlation between actual and sonographically estimated fetal weight. So, ultrasonography can be considered as useful tool for estimating the fetal weight for improving the perinatal outcome.


Actual birth weight, Hadlock’s formula, Sonographically estimated fetal weight, Ultrasound

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