K21 the development of the extremities of Turkish fetuses during the fetal period
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the morphologic structure of the extremities of Turkish fetuses during the fetal period and to measure the morphometric values.
Materials and Methods: 81human fetuses (36 male, 45 female) that had no anomaly and aged between 7 and 37 gestational weeks were used. This study was performed the Anatomy Department of Meram Medical Faculty, at Necmettin Erbakan University between 2006 and 2007. Shoulder width (SW), arm circumference (AC), forearm circumference (FC) and hand length (HL) were measured in the upper extremity. Iliac crest width (ICW), thigh circumference (TC), crus circumference (CC) and foot length (FL) were measured in the lower extremity. The measurements were obtained through tape measure and electronic compass and the results were evaluated according to gestational age and sex.
Results: It was shown that all measurements of extremities are significantly different across groups (all p<0.001). However, there were no significant differences between the genders for all extremity measurements (p>0.05). In all measurements, the mean values of extremities were in males greater than females.
Conclusion: The measurements of the extremities during fetal period are reliable parameters for use in the assessments of gestational age. Despite a significant biological variability of the morphometric values, availability of reference ranges could be of help in the early diagnosis of fetal skeletal anomalies.