Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 501–504

Association of Head Circumference and Shoulder Dystocia in Macrosomic Neonates



To determine whether asymmetric macrosomia (disproportionately large body size in comparison to head circumference) could be demonstrated in a population of infants suffering shoulder dystocia during delivery relative to those that did not suffer from shoulder dystocia. A case–control study was conducted as a retrospective chart review over 3 years at a large maternity hospital in an urban setting. Among infants over 4,000 g, those that suffered from shoulder dystocia during delivery had a smaller mean head circumference than infants of a similar size that did not suffer from shoulder dystocia. A statistically significant difference was also present when cases of documented gestational diabetes were excluded. Asymmetric macrosomia is more likely to be present in a population of infants who suffered shoulder dystocia during delivery. This knowledge could be used in designing tools to predict which pregnancies are at highest risk for shoulder dystocia during delivery.


Brachial plexus injury Shoulder dystocia Asymmetric macrosomia Gestational diabetes Head circumference 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s Hospital ColoradoUniversity of Colorado Denver, Office of Graduate Medical EducationAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Division of Child NeurologyAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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