Relationship between gestational age & anthropometric parameters of neonates - A preliminary study

D. M.G. Fernando, I. Weerakkody, S. Ranmohottige, Sujani Gamage, PVR Kumarasiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: In cases of infanticide, surreptitious disposals, still births and spontaneous or induced abortions, the accurate age of the infant needs to be calculated. Furthermore, in cases of sexual abuse, the court may need to know the period of gestation of the infant, to date the crime. However, for assessment of gestational age Sri Lankan anthropometric data is not available. Therefore this study helps to fill this void.

: Establish the relationship between the gestational age and Weight, Occipito-Frontal Circumference (OFC), Hand length (HL), and Foot Length (FL) of neonates.

Methodology: Following ethical clearance, data was collected at Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, from neonates of gestational ages ranging from 33 – 40 weeks, within 48 hours of birth by two pre-intern doctors. We excluded those suffering from anomalies which cause distortion of the anthropometric parameters. The weight recorded at birth was taken while a non-stretchable, standard tape was used to measure the OFC. HL and FL were measured with an electronic Vernier caliper.

Results: The total sample size of 108 babies consisted of 76 term babies and 32 pre term babies. The values ranged from 1300g to 3850g for weight, 25cm to 36.4cm for OFC, 34.4mm to 72.16mm for HL and 55mm to 87.7mm for FL. The detailed age specific data will be discussed, graphed and compared with available British and USA data.

Conclusion and Suggestions:
The findings of this preliminary study indicate that the gestational age can be estimated using anthropometric measurements. We suggest the need to expand this study to other areas of Sri Lanka in order to prepare graphs of anthropometric measurements applicable to Sri Lanka.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
JournalMedico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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