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Journal article

Assessment of the new Ballard score to estimate gestational age

Marín Gabriel M, Martín Moreiras J, Lliteras Fleixas G, Delgado Gallego S, Pallás Alonso C, De La Cruz Bértolo J, Pérez Estévez E...(+7 more)

Anales de pediatria Barcelona Spain 2003, vol. 64, issue 2 (2006) pp. 140-145

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Abstract

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.

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