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Small for gestational age (SGA)

Definition

Small for gestational age means that a fetus or an infant is smaller or less developed than normal for the baby's gender and gestational age. Gestational age is the age of a fetus or baby that starts on the first day of the mother's last menstrual period.

Alternative Names

Low birth weight

Information

Ultrasound is used to find out if a fetus is smaller than normal for their age. This condition is called intrauterine growth restriction. The most common definition of small for gestational age (SGA) is a birth weight that is below the 10th percentile.

A developing baby with intrauterine growth restriction will be small in size and can have problems such as:

  • Increased red blood cells
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low body temperature

References

Carlo WA. The high-risk infant. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 97.

Review Date:9/26/2015
Reviewed By:Daniel N. Sacks MD, FACOG, obstetrics & gynecology in private practice, West Palm Beach, FL. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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