Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is associated with an increased
incidence of fetal and neonatal death, and of neonatal morbidity. Babies
born following FGR also are at risk of a range of postnatal complications,
which may contribute to an increased incidence of disease later in life.
There currently are no effective clinical interventions which improve
perinatal survival, intrauterine growth and later outcomes of the FGR
baby. Postnatal interventions aimed at promoting or accelerating growth
in FGR babies to improve outcome, particularly neurodevelopmental outcomes,
may further increase the risk of metabolic dysregulation and,
therefore, the risk of developing chronic disease in adulthood. An intrauterine intervention
to improve nutrition and growth in the FGR fetus may have the potential to decrease mortality
and improve long-term outcomes by delaying preterm delivery and mitigating the
need for and risks of accelerated postnatal growth.
Keywords: Fetal therapies, growth and development, growth hormone, infant, insulin-like growth factor-I, placenta, preterm, developmental origins of health and disease.
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