The ponderal index in triplets: III. Association with birth weight discordance

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our objective was to determine the association of the ponderal index with birth weight discordance in triplets. We analyzed data from triplets delivered at 28-37 weeks for birth weight discordance (>25% difference between the heaviest and lightest triplet). Three categories of discordance (low skew, symmetrical, and high skew) were classified according to the relative position of the middle triplet. Birth weights and the ponderal index (birth weight/ [length]3) of all concordant and discordant triplet groups were compared. Of 752 triplet sets included, 184 (24.5%) were discordant. Total triplet birth weight was higher in the concordant compared to all discordant categories. As opposed to birth weight, where only the middle triplet differed according to discordance pattern, the ponderal index for the largest triplet was significantly higher in the low skew discordant group compared to the concordant and other discordant triplet groups. In contrast, the ponderal index for the smallest and middle triplets were similar among the discordant groups. We concluded that discordance in triplet pregnancies exhibits different patterns of mass (birth weight) versus size (ponderal index). Our findings suggest that it may be the size of largest triplet that determines the presence or absence or discordance in triplet gestations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Birth weight
  • Discordance
  • Ponderal index
  • Triplets


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