Background- Considering the hazards of macrosomia and low birth WEIGHT, the
ESTIMATION of birth WEIGHT before delivery is of paramount importance. An easy-to-do
method of birth WEIGHT ESTIMATION is fundal height measurement using only a tape measure.
In the present study, we determined the association between fundal height and actual birth
WEIGHT and calculated the specificity, sensitivity and positive and negative predictive values
for the method.
Methods- Standard fundal height was measured on 450 pregnant women who were
hospitalized in Imam Khomeini and Shariati Hospitals in Tehran, Iran, for delivery during a 6-
month period in 2000. All measurements were performed within the 5 last days of
pregnancy. Inclusion criteria were normal pregnancy, cephalic presentation of the fetus and
maternal WEIGHT of less than 91 kg. The parturient patients with systemic disease, history of
stillbirth, poly or oligohydramnios, placental abnormality, twin or multiple pregnancies and
fetal congenital anomaly were excluded from the study. Linear regression analysis was used
to determine the association of fundal height to actual birth WEIGHT.
Results- A prospective linear regression was found between fundal height and actual
birth WEIGHT (r = 0.88, p < 0.01) correct ESTIMATION of birth WEIGHT was obtained in 349 (77.5%)
of cases. The specificity of estimated WEIGHT was 91.5% when the real birth WEIGHT was
within the normal range.
Conclusion- For actual birth WEIGHTs in the normal range, our results showed that the
normal range of fundal height was 27 to 35 centimeters. For a fundal height measurement
outside of this range, an abnormal and a high-risk delivery should be expected.