CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2020; 80(10): 1016-1025
DOI: 10.1055/a-1232-1418
GebFra Science

Fetal Growth Restriction – Diagnostic Work-up, Management and Delivery

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Dietmar Schlembach
Vivantes – Netzwerk für Gesundheit GmbH, Klinikum Neukölln, Klinik für Geburtsmedizin, Berlin, Germany
› Author Affiliations


Fetal or intrauterine growth restriction (FGR/IUGR) affects approximately 5 – 8% of all pregnancies and refers to a fetus not exploiting its genetically determined growth potential. Not only a major cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, it also predisposes these fetuses to the development of chronic disorders in later life. Apart from the timely diagnosis and identification of the causes of FGR, the obstetric challenge primarily entails continued antenatal management with optimum timing of delivery. In order to minimise premature birth morbidity, intensive fetal monitoring aims to prolong the pregnancy and at the same time intervene, i.e. deliver, before the fetus is threatened or harmed. It is important to note that early-onset FGR (< 32 + 0 weeks of gestation [wks]) should be assessed differently than late-onset FGR (≥ 32 + 0 wks). In early-onset FGR progressive deterioration is reflected in abnormal venous Doppler parameters, while in late-onset FGR this manifests primarily in abnormal cerebral Doppler ultrasound. According to our current understanding, the “optimum” approach for monitoring and timing of delivery in early-onset FGR combines computerized CTG with the ductus venosus Doppler, while in late-onset FGR assessment of the cerebral Doppler parameters becomes more important.

Publication History

Received: 16 June 2020

Accepted after revision: 31 July 2020

Publication Date:
25 September 2020 (online)

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