Newborn mid-upper arm circumference as valid proxy measure of gestational age

  • Ankit Agrawal
  • Ajay Gaur
  • Ravi Ambey


Background: Prematurity is a significant contributor to neonatal mortality in India. Conventionally, gestational age (GA) of newborn is estimated using Naegele’s formula and New Ballard scoring (NBS), a physical and neurological maturity scoring method of newborn. Objective: The current study was aimed to find out an estimation of GA using neonatal mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC). Materials and Methods: This hospital-based prospective observational study was conducted in the sick newborn care unit and postnatal ward of a tertiary hospital of Central India. A total of 1303 newborns were included in the study. The MUAC was taken and the GA assessed by NBS and Naegele’s formula was filled in a pro forma. Results: A total of 1303 neonates were evaluated. The mean MUAC varied from 6.20±0.5 cm among the preterm newborns to 10.27±0.5 cm among newborns born after the 40th week of gestation. The mean MUAC was 8.04±0.6 cm irrespective of GA. MUAC was found to be significantly correlated with GA (r=0.903, p<0.01). Conclusion: MUAC in newborns can be used as surrogate of GA and can be used for its estimation.

Keywords: Gestational age, Mid-upper arm circumference, Newborns, Sick newborn care unit
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How to Cite
Agrawal A, Gaur A, Ambey R. Newborn mid-upper arm circumference as valid proxy measure of gestational age. Indian Journal of Child Health [Internet]. &nbsp; [cited 9Apr.2020];7(2):54-6. Available from:
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