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Neonatal Anthropometry: A Tool to Evaluate the Nutritional Status and Predict Early and Late Risks

  • Luis Pereira-da-Silva
Chapter

Abstract

Neonatal anthropometry is an inexpensive, noninvasive and convenient tool for bedside evaluation, especially in sick and fragile neonates. Anthropometry can be used in neonates as a tool for several purposes: diagnosis of foetal malnutrition and prediction of early postnatal complications; postnatal assessment of growth, body composition and nutritional status; prediction of long-term complications including metabolic syndrome; assessment of dysmorphology; and estimation of body surface. However, in this age group anthropometry has been notorious for its inaccuracy and the main concern is to make validated indices available. Direct measurements, such as body weight, length and body circumferences are the most commonly used measurements for nutritional assessment in clinical practice and in field studies. Body weight is the most reliable anthropometric measurement and therefore is often used alone in the assessment of the nutritional status, despite not reflecting body composition. Derived indices from direct measurements have been proposed to improve the accuracy of anthropometry. Equations based on body weight and length, mid-arm circumference/head circumference ratio, and upper-arm cross-sectional areas are among the most used derived indices to assess nutritional status and body proportionality, even though these indices require further validation for the estimation of body composition in neonates.

Keywords

Obesity Hydration Filtration Compressibility Hypoglycemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AA

Arm area

AFA

Arm fat area

AGA

Appropriate-for-gestational age

AMA

Arm muscle area

BS

Biceps skinfold

BSF

Body surface

BW

Birth weight

CHL

Crown-heel length

CI

Cephalic index

CTS

Central to total skinfold ratio

DEXA

Dual X-ray absorptiometry

HC

Head circumference

IUGR

Intrauterine growth restriction

LBW

Low birth weight LGAlarge-for-gestational age

MAC

Mid-arm circumference

MAC/HC

Mid-arm circumference/head circumference ratio

PI

Ponderal index

SBS

Subscapular skinfold

SGA

Small-for-gestational age

SPS

Suprailiac skinfold

TBF

Total body fat

TS

Tricipital skinfold

VLBW

Very low birth weight

WAA

Water arm area

W/L

Weight-for-length ratio

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Ciências MédicasUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Neonatal DivisionHospital Dona Estefânia, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa CentralLisbonPortugal

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