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MFM researcher earns $3.7M NIH grant to study preterm birth
Date:10/6/2010

pregnancy, offering a standard for fetal anthropometric parameters throughout gestation," Dr. Chien explained. "This project will evaluate growth trajectories which will help to identify pathologic versus normal growth patterns in both singletons and twins."

To develop the algorithm, the researchers will use standard two-dimensional ultrasounds as well as more sophisticated three-dimensional ultrasounds during pregnancy and compare the predictions against newborn weight to see if there are characteristics visible on the ultrasounds that could be used to more accurately predict the baby's size. Current algorithms for determining newborn size can be off by up to 15%, or as much as one to two pounds.

"We know that growth restricted (small and unhealthy) babies have more complications, such as learning and physical disabilities, and they are more likely to die in utero and after birth. But it is important for us to be able to identify those babies who are smaller but healthy so we can utilize resources for monitoring complicated pregnancies. We expend a significant amount of resources on small but healthy fetuses," Dr. Chien added.

The study will also seek to discern why some babies have growth problems and others do not. Researchers will look at maternal body mass index (BMI), prenatal weight gain and nutritional habits as indicators.

At Women & Infants, investigators include Dr. Chien, and Drs. Hal Pinar and Dwight Rouse. The hospital will also collaborate with Sabrina Craigo, MD, at Tufts Medical Center for recruitment.


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Contact: Susan McDonald
slmcdonald@wihri.org
401-681-2816
Women & Infants Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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