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Growth throughout childhood of children born growth restricted
  1. Fenny Beukers1,
  2. Joost Rotteveel2,
  3. Mirjam M van Weissenbruch2,
  4. Wessel Ganzevoort3,
  5. Johannes B van Goudoever1,2,
  6. Aleid G van Wassenaer-Leemhuis1
  1. 1 Department of Paediatrics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
  1. Correspondence to Fenny Beukers, Academic Medical Center, Emma Children's Hospital, PO Box 22700, Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam 1100 DE, The Netherlands; f.beukers{at}


Objective Many studies that examine growth in growth-restricted children at birth do not discriminate between fetal growth restriction (FGR) and small for gestational age (SGA). These terms however are not synonymous. In SGA, stunting and increased weight gain have been reported. We do not know if this holds true for FGR. Our aim was to study postnatal growth until age 12.5 years in a cohort of children born FGR due to early onset placental insufficiency, and its relation to FGR severity.

Design Prospective cohort study, follow-up of an antenatal randomised controlled trial in two tertiary centres.

Patients Children aged 12.5 years born after FGR, with mothers who had severe early onset hypertensive pregnancy disorders (N=96).

Main outcome measures Anthropometry at age 12.5 years in SD scores (SDS).

Results Mean height SDS (SD) corrected for target height was −0.09 (0.94), mean body mass index (BMI) SDS was 0.00 (1.16) and mean head circumference SDS was –0.37 (1.11). Catch-up growth was at fastest rate between term age and 3 months and similar for height (0.55 SDS/months) and weight (0.49 SDS/months). Neither FGR severity nor gestational age was related to height and BMI at age 12.5 years.

Conclusions Children born growth restricted due to early onset placental insufficiency have height and BMI scores comparable to their age-matched peers at age 12.5 years. FGR severity was not related to height and BMI at age 12.5 years. These reassuring results differ from most studies that examine SGA children.

  • General Paediatrics
  • Neonatology
  • Placental insufficiency
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Child growth

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  • Contributors FB was involved in development of the research protocol, data collection, analyses and writing of the manuscript. JR, MMvW and JBvG were involved in development of the research protocol and the writing process. AGvW-L was involved in development of the research protocol, analyses and writing of the manuscript, and was responsible for the overall content of the study.

  • Funding This study was supported in part by funds from the Cornelia Foundation, the Christine Bader Foundation Irene Children's Hospital, the JANIVO Foundation and the EMMA Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The medical ethics institutional review board of Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement FB and AGvW-L had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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