Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is identified during an
ultrasound examination when foetal measurements are smaller than expected for
the specific gestational age. This condition indicates
that foetal growth may have slowed down or ceased while the baby is still in
Identifying the cause of growth restriction is crucial when IUGR is diagnosed. If the foetus is symmetrically small, the likelihood an inherent issue, such as a chromosomal abnormality, structural defect or congenital infection, is higher. Conversely, asymmetrical growth restriction, where the abdominal circumference is more affected than the head circumference, typically suggests inefficient placental perfusion.
In both scenarios, close monitoring of the foetus is essential, involving regular ultrasound examinations to assess amniotic fluid volume and blood flows. The decision on when to deliver is guided by ultrasound findings and the overall assessment of foetal well-being.