Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)

Alternative names 
Small for gestational age (SGA); Low birth weight

The term “small for gestational age”, or SGA, means a fetus or infant is smaller in size than is expected for the baby’s gender, genetic heritage, and gestational age.


Information gained from ultrasound is the diagnostic standard used to identify intrauterine growth restriction. Birth weight below the population 10th percentile, corrected for gestational age, is the most widely used definition of SGA.

Neonatal growth restriction is recognized as a syndrome that includes small size and specific metabolic abnormalities. These abnormalities include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level), hypothermia (low body temperature), and polycythemia (increased level of red blood cells).

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Harutyun Medina, M.D.

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