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Purpose of Review:This paper discusses the current issues in the development of foetal charts and is informed by a scoping review of studies constructing charts between 2012 and 2018. Recent Findings:The scoping review of 20 articles revealed that there is still a lack of consensus on how foetal charts should be constructed and whether an international chart that can be applied across populations is feasible. Many of these charts are in clinical use today and directly affect the identification of at risk newborns that require treatment and nutritional strategies. However, there is no agreement on important design features such as inclusion and exclusion criteria; sample size and agreement on definitions such as what constitutes a healthy population of pregnant women that can be used for constructing foetal standards. Summary:This paper therefore reiterates some of these current issues and the scoping review showcases the heterogeneity in the studies developing foetal charts between 2012 and 2018. There is no consensus on these pertinent issues and hence if not resolved will lead to continued surge of foetal reference and standard charts which will only exacerbate the current problem of not being able to make direct comparisons of foetal size and growth across populations.

Original publication




Journal article


Current epidemiology reports

Publication Date





388 - 398


1Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Oxford, OX3 7BN UK.