Assessment of the New Ballard Score to estimate gestational age

  • M.A. M
  • J. M
  • G. L
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The New Ballard Score (NBS) is commonly used to estimate gestational age (GA) in the newborn. The aims of this study were: a) to determine the reliability of the NBS; b) to estimate the agreement between two methods of GA assessment, NBS and ultrasonography (US) or last menstrual period (LMP); c) to estimate the agreement between NBS and US/LMP in distinct subgroups of neonates. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a prospective, blind study. NBS was performed in neonates born in Hospital 12 Octubre, Madrid before the age of 48 hours. The level of agreement was estimated with two analytical parameters: the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the mean differences method (MD). RESULTS: Inter-observer agreement was very good (ICC > 0.8). Agreement between US/LMP and NBS was good (ICC = 0.6-0.8). In infants with lower weight or GA, and in those whose mothers had received prenatal corticosteroid therapy, NBS tended to overestimate GA compared with US/LMP (MD = 1.2-2.9). CONCLUSIONS: The agreement between two observers in NBS assessment was very good. The agreement between NBS and US/LMP was good, but differences of more than 2 weeks in GA were frequent. In very preterm newborns and in infants whose mothers had received prenatal corticosteroid therapy, NBS tends to overestimate GA.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *gestational age
  • *low birth weight
  • Spain
  • analytical parameters
  • article
  • clinical trial
  • controlled clinical trial
  • controlled study
  • correlation coefficient
  • corticosteroid/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • diagnostic accuracy
  • echography
  • human
  • infant
  • intermethod comparison
  • major clinical study
  • maturation
  • medical examination
  • menstrual cycle
  • prenatal disorder/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • scoring system

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  • Marin Gabriel M.A.

  • Martin Moreiras J.

  • Lliteras Fleixas G.

  • Delgado Gallego S.

  • Pallas Alonso C.R.

  • De La Cruz Bertolo J.

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