Is canscore a good indicator of fetal malnutrition in preterm newborn

  • B.N. Ezenwa
  • V.C. Ezeaka
Keywords: Fetal malnutrition, Preterm newborn, BMI, CANScore


Background: Fetal malnutrition is a risk factor for increased neonatal morbidities and mortalities worldwide. BMI and CANScore had been used for determining fetal malnutrition in term newborns.

Objective: To assess the nutritional status of preterm newborns at birth using BMI, PI and CANscore and determine the better indicator for FM.

Methods: The study was carried out on consecutive, live-born babies between 28 completed weeks through 36 weeks gestation. Birth weights and lengths were recorded as per protocol. BMI was calculated and BMI <10th centile using Brock’s chart is considered as FM and a PI <2.2 was considered as malnutrition. Using Metcoff’s CANscore, score <25 is FM. Data was analyzed using the SPSS version 22.0.

Results: One hundred and forty preterm newborns were assessed and 108 (77%) were of LBW. BMI, CANscore and PI identified 40.0%, 34.3% and 30.0% of the preterm newborns as FM. Using BMI as standard for detecting FM, CANscore and PI identified 33.9% and 51.8% of the babies as FM. PI had a better sensitivity for detecting FM in preterm infants compared to CANScore and this was statistically significant, p < 0.00.

Conclusion: FM is common in preterm babies. BMI and PI are simple and easy tools to use in assessing FM in preterm babies. They are also better identifiers of FM in preterm newborns compared to CANScore.

Keywords: Fetal malnutrition, Preterm newborn, BMI, CANScore


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2090-2948
print ISSN: 1110-0834