The growth of the upper and lower extremities of Turkish fetuses during the fetal period

Malas M., Salbacak A., Sulak O.

SURGICAL AND RADIOLOGIC ANATOMY, vol.22, pp.249-254, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00276-000-0249-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.249-254
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: No


Prenatal analysis of the fetal structures gives us information about fetal growth and gestational age. The aim of this study was to investigate the morphologic structure of the upper and lower extremities of Turkish fetuses during the fetal period, to measure the morphometric values, and to determine the relationship between CRL (crown-rump length) and growth of the foot. In this study, 106 human fetuses (56 males, 50 females) without external anomalies and aged between 10-40 post-menstrual weeks (PMW) were studied. In the upper extremity, the width of shoulder and the length of the arms, forearms and hands were measured. In the lower extremity, the width of the iliac crest, knee condyles, feet, and heels and the length of the thighs, legs and feet were measured. A significant correlation was found between all parameters taken within the fetal period and PMW (p < 0.001). Statistically significant correlations found between foot-growth measurements and fetal parameters indicate that foot length may be a good predictor of age. The measurements of the upper and lower extremities during fetal period are a reliable parameter for use in the assessment of gestational age. These measurements are particularly useful when other parameters do not accurately predict gestational age in some cases such as hydrocephalus, anencephaly, short-limb dysplasia. Our opinion is that the measurements can be useful to assess gestational age in several fields such as anatomy, pathologic anatomy (fetopathology), forensic medicine, medical imaging, obstetrics and pediatrics.