The ponderal index can help in detecting abnormalities of fetal growth, especially for the assymmetrically growth-retarded fetus or with macrosomia. It is related to the ponderal index of Khosla and Lowe (W/H^3).


NOTE: The comparable neonatal ponderal index is reported in 02.06.05.


ponderal index for a fetus =

= ((estimated fetal weight in gram) * 100) / ((estimated fetal height in cm) ^ 3)



• A ponderal index below the tenth percentile for gestational age may indicate intrauterine growth retardation.



• The symmetrically growth retarded fetus will have a normal ponderal index, but can be detected by the estimated weight being less than the tenth percentile for age.


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