Absorptiometry, Photon, Anthropometry, Body Height, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Male, Reproducibility of Results, Tibia, Ulna
AIM: We compared the accuracy and reproducibility of using ulnar and lower leg length measurements to predict length and height in infants and children aged 0 to 6 years.
METHOD: Length/height and ulnar and lower leg length were measured in 352 healthy preterm and term-born children (167 males, 185 females) (Mean age= 2.6±1.6 years). Ulna length was measured as the distance between the proximal olecranon process and the distal styloid process of the ulna. Tibia length was measured as the distance from the proximal aspect of the medial condyle and the most distal aspect of the medial malleolus of the tibia using a segmometer. Length measurements were taken using an infant length board in children less than 24 months of age, whereas a portable stadiometer was used to measure height in older children. Equations were developed using ulnar and lower leg length and age. Intra- and inter-examiner variability (n=167) was calculated, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans (n=126) were used to determine accuracy of limb lengths.
RESULTS: Ulnar and lower leg length explained over 95% of the variability in length/height in term infants and children, but less in preterm infants (R(2) =0.80-0.87). In preterm infants, the limits of agreement (LOA) for males were -2.44 to 2.44cm and -2.88 to 2.88cm for the ulna and lower leg respectively, whereas the LOA for females were -1.90 to 1.90cm and -1.87 to 1.87cm respectively. In older children, the LOA for males were -5.53 to 4.48cm and -5.59 to 4.62cm for the ulna and lower leg respectively, whereas the LOA for females were -5.57 to 5.01cm and -6.02 to 5.02cm respectively. Intra- and inter-examiner variability was low for all measurements in both sexes and age groups.
INTERPRETATION: Length and height measurements using infant length board or stadiometer are reproducible. Because of the wide limits of agreement, estimation of length and height in children using ulnar and lower leg length is not an acceptable alternative to traditional methods.
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
DOI of Published Version
Mac Keith Press
© The Authors. Journal compilation © Mac Keith Press 2014
Dev Med Child Neurol. 2014 October ; 56(10): 995–1000. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12491.