Regulation of fetal growth: consequences and impact of being born small

Mullis, Primus-E; Tonella, Paolo (2008). Regulation of fetal growth: consequences and impact of being born small. Best practice & research - clinical endocrinology & metabolism, 22(1), pp. 173-90. London: Baillière Tindall 10.1016/j.beem.2007.07.010

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The first trimester of pregnancy is the time during which organogenesis takes place and tissue patterns and organ systems are established. In the second trimester the fetus undergoes major cellular adaptation and an increase in body size, and in the third trimester organ systems mature ready for extrauterine life. In addition, during that very last period of intrauterine life there is a significant increase in body weight. In contrast to the postnatal endocrine control of growth, where the principal hormones directly influencing growth are growth hormone (GH) and the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) via the GH-IGF axis, fetal growth throughout gestation is constrained by maternal factors and placental function and is coordinated by growth factors. In general, growth disorders only become apparent postnatally, but they may well be related to fetal life. Thus, fetal growth always needs to be considered in the overall picture of human growth as well as in its metabolic development.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Mullis, Primus-Eugen and Tonella, Paolo






Baillière Tindall




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:03

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:19

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URI: (FactScience: 105059)

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