Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) should be defined on the basis of a prenatally recognized defective growth compared to that expected for this fetus. This condition is encountered in 10–15% of the pregnancies and the perinatal outcome is impaired mainly as a consequence of fetal hypoxemia that is present in 30% of IUGR fetuses. In order to allow for proper management, the IUGR should be recognized prenatally and the method of choice for this purpose is ultrasound fetal biometry. After the identification of IUGR, 2 nd level tests should be performed in order to assess the fetal oxygenation conditions. The validity of Doppler investigation on fetal and umbilical vessels is discussed, and the importance of using computer assisted cardiotocography instead of traditional eye ball evaluation of the non-stress test is emphasized.
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