The ponderal index in triplets: I. Relationship to small for gestational age neonates

Isaac Blickstein, Robin B. Kalish, Geeta Sharma, Debbie J. Rhea, Louis G. Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The aim of the study was to examine the ponderal index in small for gestational age (SGA) triplets. Prospectively collected data from a cohort of triplets born at 28 to 37 weeks were analyzed. A low neonatal ponderal index (birth weight / [length] 3) was defined as less than 1 SD below the mean (2.0), and SGA was considered as birth weight below the 10th percentile by triplet standards. We studied 2181 sets of triplets. Triplets delivered at ≤33 weeks have a lower mean ponderal index compared with those delivered at >33 weeks. About 70% of SGA triplets do not have a low ponderal index, whereas 79.2% of infants with a low ponderal index are not SGA by triplet standards. Both the frequency of a low ponderal index and the frequency of infants with a low ponderal index who are not SGA decrease with increasing gestational age. We conclude that the majority of triplets with a low ponderal index might not be considered growth restricted, supporting the concept that reduced fetal weight of triplets is more likely a physiological rather than a pathological phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth restriction
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Ponderal index
  • SGA
  • Triplets


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