Catch-Up Growth and Supine Length/Height in Very Low Birth Weight, Small for Gestational Age Preterm Infants

Results of a Longitudinal Study from Birth to Adulthood
  • Ingeborg Brandt
  • Elisabeth J. Sticker
  • Ruth Gausche
  • Michael J. Lentze


Linear growth of very low birth weight (VLBW) small for gestational age (SGA; < 10th percentile) preterm infants was analyzed from birth to adult age as to catch-up or no catch-up growth. These VLBW SGA preterm infants (n = 46) with primarily symmetric intrauterine growth restriction from the Bonn Longitudinal Study were compared with 62 appropriate for gestational age (AGA) VLBW preterm and 73 term infants and with their parents. Forty-six percent of VLBW SGA (21 of 46) had complete height catch-up by adult age, and most became taller than target height (TH; 15 of 21; 71%). The other 25 did not catch up (54%); most of them remained shorter than TH (18 of 25; 72%) after initial catch-up followed by catch-down growth. Their mean adult height z-score was lower than that for birth length. Mean body mass index was similar in the catch-up and no catch-up groups (21.8 and 21.3, respectively) and lower than in the controls (23.2). Approximately half of the head circumference (HC) catch-up children achieved height catch-up as well. Height catch-up extended beyond age 6 years up to adult age; it was independent of HC growth (i.e., catch-up or not). Growth of the VLBW SGA preterm infants was characterized by its great heterogeneity and intraindividual variability. Height catch-down or successful catch-up growth could not be predicted.


Standard Deviation Score Adult Height Target Height Ponderal Index Head Circumference Growth 
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.



Appropriate for gestational age


Adult height


Bonn Longitudinal Study


Body mass index


Expected date of delivery


Energy quotient


Head circumference


Intelligence quotient


Maximum height before catch-down


Mannheimer Intelligence Test


Midparental height




Ponderal index


Standard deviation


Standard deviation score


Socioeconomic status


Small for gestational age


Target height


Very low birth weight


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingeborg Brandt
    • 1
  • Elisabeth J. Sticker
    • 2
  • Ruth Gausche
    • 3
  • Michael J. Lentze
    • 4
  1. 1.Developmental Paediatrics, Department of PaediatricsChildren’s Hospital Medical Centre, University of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Developmental and Educational Psychology, Department of PsychologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  3. 3.Network for an earlier detection of growth disordersCrescNet gGmbH, University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, University of BonnBonnGermany

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