BACKGROUND. Diabetes in pregnancy is associated with both accelerated fetal growth and intrauterine growth restriction.
OBJECTIVE. To compare the difference in occurrence of large-for-gestational-age (LGA) and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) fetuses in a
pregnant diabetic population using population-based growth charts and customised growth charts.
METHODS. Retrospective observational study at Steve Biko Academic and Kalafong hospitals, Pretoria, South Africa. Information from
an electronic database was used to retrospectively generate customised centiles using a web-based tool (www.gestation.net). The first
fetal growth scan of the third trimester, as determined by ultrasound, was plotted for each patient on both the population-based and
customised growth charts. We compared the growth category on the population-based growth chart with that on the customised growth
RESULTS. Of the patients, 44 had type 1, 66 type 2 and 173 gestational diabetes. The growth of 79/283 fetuses would have been reclassified
had customised growth charts been used. Of cases in which fetal growth was classified as appropriate for gestation on the populationbased
growth charts, 58 fetuses would have been LGA and 14 SGA had customised growth charts been used. Four of the fetuses that
were SGA and three that were LGA on the population-based growth charts would have been classified as appropriately grown on the
customised growth charts. This was a statistically significant difference (p<0.001), with a Cohen’s kappa of 0.45 indicating moderate
CONCLUSIONS. Customised growth charts identified more babies with aberrations of growth, who may need vigilant antenatal care and
elective delivery and may be at increased health risk in the future.