Accuracy of sonographic weight estimation as a function of fetal sex.
ABSTRACT To determine whether the accuracy of sonographic fetal weight estimation is related to fetal sex.
The accuracy of sonographic fetal weight estimation was compared between male and female fetuses using 3672 sonographic weight estimations performed within 3 days prior to delivery. Fetal weight was estimated using eight regression models that are based on different combinations of the following biometric parameters: abdominal circumference (AC), femur diaphysis length (FL), biparietal diameter (BPD) and head circumference (HC).
In seven out of the eight models tested, the presence of a male fetus was associated with a significantly lower systematic error compared with a female fetus (-0.2 to 2.1% vs. 1.3 to 6%, P<0.001). On multivariate analysis, fetal sex was independently associated with sonographic accuracy so that the likelihood of a weight estimation within 10% of birth weight was 30% higher for male fetuses compared with female fetuses. The biometric parameters that contributed most to these sex-related differences were FL and AC, while models that included HC were associated with the lowest differences in the systematic error between male fetuses and female fetuses. For most models, the random error and correlation between estimated weight and birth weight were not affected by fetal sex (8.1-12.8% vs. 8.2-13.6%, and 0.856-0.944 vs. 0.842-0.944, respectively).
Sonographic estimation of fetal weight is more accurate for male fetuses than for female fetuses. The use of sex-specific models may improve the accuracy of fetal weight estimation for female fetuses.