Study of the prevalence of small for gestational age newborns using clinical assessment of nutritional status of newborn baby at birth (CAN score)

Mathivanan M., Muthu Rama Subramanian M.


Background: Small for gestational age infants are classically defined as having a birth weight that is more than two standard deviations below the mean or less than the 10th percentile of a population-specific birth weight vs. gestational age plot. IUGR is defined as a rate of fetal growth that is less than normal for the population and for the growth potential of a specific infant. IUGR therefore produces infants who are SGA. The choice of intrauterine growth charts for classification of babies is also not agreed upon. Effect of gender, order of birth, birth weight of previously born babies, maternal factors are also one of the determinants of IUGR in the detection and classification of true Small for gestational age babies. CAN score (clinical assessment of nutritional status at birth in newborn babies), independent of these factors can be used for international comparison of Small for gestational age babies. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of Small for Gestational Age newborns using Clinical Assessment of Nutritional status of newborn baby at birth (CAN score).

Methods: This study was carried out on 400 consecutive term neonates delivered at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, Tirunelveli during June-July 2015. Clinical assessment of nutritional status was done within 48 hours on the basis of the superficial readily detectable signs of malnutrition in the newborn as described by Metcoff. Maximum score of 4 is awarded to each parameter with no evidence of malnutrition and lowest of 1 is awarded to parameter with the worse evidence of malnutrition. Statistics were done using SPSS 16.

Results: The study identified 110 (27.5%) babies as IUGR babies using CAN score. This included 56 male babies and 54 female babies. Thus, from the present study, the prevalence of Small for Gestational Age using CAN score was 27.5%.

Conclusions: CAN score is the best measure for identifying the IUGR among the neonates.


CAN score, IUGR, SGA

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