The ponderal index can help in detecting abnormalities of growth, especially the asymmetrically growth retarded infant.

NOTE: The comparable fetal ponderal index is reported in 15.04.08.


ponderal index for neonates =

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



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

• A baby with symmetrical IUGR (seen in stunting) tends to have a normal ponderal index.

• A baby with asymmetric IUGR (seen in wasting) tends to have a low ponderal index.



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

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