Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Variability in the use of growth curves between preterm and term infants in NICUs and newborn nurseries

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Comparison of weight-to-gestational age cutoffs (grams) for 10th and 90th percentile of WHO, Fenton, and Olsen growth curves.
Fig. 2


  1. 1.

    World Health Organization. International Conference for the Ninth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Manual of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death: Based on the Recommendations of the Ninth Revision Conference, 1975, and Adopted by the Twenty-Ninth World Health Assembly (World Health Organization, 1977).

  2. 2.

    World Health Organization. Physical Status: The Use and Interpretation of Anthropometry: Report of a WHO Expert Committee. Technical Report Series No. 854 (World Health Organization, 1995).

  3. 3.

    ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics. World Health Organization. (2019).

  4. 4.

    Kohn, M. A., Vosti, C. L., Lezotte, D. & Jones, R. H. Optimal gestational age and birth-weight cutoffs to predict neonatal morbidity. Med. Decis. Mak. 20, 369–376 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Beune, I. M. et al. Consensus based definition of growth restriction in the newborn. J. Pediatr. 196, 71–76 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Fenton, T. R. & Kim, J. H. A systematic review and meta-analysis to revise the Fenton growth chart for preterm infants. BMC Pediatr. 13, 59–72 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Lubchenco, L. O., Hansman, C., Dressler, M. & Boyd, E. Intrauterine growth as estimated from liveborn birth-weight data at 24 to 42 weeks of gestation. Pediatrics 32, 793–800 (1963).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Villar, J. et al. International standards for newborn weight, length, and head circumference by gestational age and sex: the newborn cross-sectional study of the INTERGROWTH-21st Project. Lancet 384, 857–868 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Villar, J. et al. Postnatal growth standards for preterm infants: the preterm postnatal follow-up study of the INTERGROWTH-21(st) Project. Lancet Glob. Health 3, e681–e691 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Villar, J. et al. INTERGROWTH-21st very preterm size at birth reference charts. Lancet 387, 844–845 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Haschke, F. & Van’t Hof, M. A. Euro-Growth references for length, weight, and body circumferences. J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 31, S14–S38 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. WHO child growth standards based on length/height, weight and age. Acta Paediatr. 450(Suppl.), 76–85 (2006).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Olsen, I. E., Groveman, S. A., Lawson, L., Clark, R. H. & Zemel, B. S. New intrauterine growth curves based on United States data. Pediatrics 125, e214–e224 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Kozuki, N. et al. Comparison of US birth weight references and the international fetal and newborn growth consortium for the 21st century standard. JAMA Pediatr. 169, e151438 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    WHO Growth Charts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010).

  16. 16.

    2013 Growth Chart. University of Calgary. (2017).

  17. 17.

    Blencowe, H. et al. National, regional, and worldwide estimates of low birthweight in 2015, with trends from 2000: a systematic analysis. Lancet Glob. Health 7, e849–e860 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Boyd, M. E., Usher, R. H. & McLean, F. H. Fetal macrosomia: prediction, risks, proposed management. Obstet. Gynecol. 61, 715–721 (1983).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    McCormick, M. C. The contribution of low birth weight to infant mortality and childhood morbidity. N. Engl. J. Med. 312, 82–90 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Hughes, M. M., Black, R. E. & Katz, J. 2500-g Low birth weight cutoff: history and implications for future research and policy. Matern. Child Health J. 21, 283–289 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank the participating neonatologists for their correspondence.

Author information




Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data—J.R.K., Y.L.M. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content—Y.L.M., J.R.K., S.Z.T., I.M.P., J.R.M. Final approval of the version to be published—Y.L.M., J.R.K., S.Z.T., I.M.P., J.R.M.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeffrey R. Kaiser.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information


Supplementary Appendix S1

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Murray, Y.L., Paul, I.M., Miller, J.R. et al. Variability in the use of growth curves between preterm and term infants in NICUs and newborn nurseries. Pediatr Res 89, 711–713 (2021).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links