Are babies with gastroschisis small for gestational age?
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A large proportion of babies with gastroschisis (GS) have low birth weights. It is not clear, however, whether only certain subgroups or the whole population of babies with GS have low birth weights. The aim of this study was to ascertain if the birth weights of babies with GS are significantly lower than those of the general population and to determine if the birth weights of babies with GS from two different populations were significantly different. From 1969 to 1995, 44 babies with GS were treated at Auckland Children's Hospital, New Zealand. From 1980 to 1993, 69 babies were treated at Birmingham Children's Hospital, England. For each group, the mean birth weight relative to the mean birth weight for gestation (WtStdev) was significantly different from zero (Auckland = −0.806, Birmingham = −0.762,P < 0.001, one-sample analysis). The mean WtStdev scores from each centre were not significantly different from each other. Our data demonstrate that the birth weights of babies with GS are significantly lower than those of the general population and are similar in different populations. These findings support the notion that a normally functioning intestinal tract is essential for normal fetal growth.
Key wordsGastroschisis Low birth weight Fetal growth
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