gestational age

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1. the duration, or the measure of time of the existence of a person or object.
2. to undergo change as a result of passage of time.
achievement age a measure of achievement expressed in terms of the chronologic age of a normal child showing the same degree of attainment.
chronologic age the actual measure of time elapsed since a person's birth.
developmental age
1. age estimated from the degree of anatomical development.
2. in psychology, the age of an individual determined by degree of emotional, mental, anatomical, and physiological maturation.
gestational age see gestational age.
mental age the age level of mental ability of a person as gauged by standard intelligence tests.


pertaining to gestation.
gestational age the estimated age or stage of maturity of a conceptus. Gestational age of the newborn infant can be estimated by noting various physical characteristics that normally appear at each stage of fetal development. Gestational age assessment of the newborn is facilitated by using a scoring system such as the one developed by Dubowitz and Dubowitz, or a modification of it by Ballard.

As the preterm newborn emerges from the birth canal it will be covered with a rather heavy coating of vernix caseosa; the full-term newborn has only a small amount of this cheeselike substance in body creases and the hair. By the 40th to 42nd week of gestation the skin of the newborn is pale and opaque, whereas the skin of the baby born before this period of gestation may be thin and transparent; venules can be seen under the skin on the abdomen.

At about 20 weeks the body is covered with fine hair called lanugo, which begins to disappear as maturation continues, first from the face, then the trunk, and finally from the extremities. At nine months gestation lanugo is usually seen only over the shoulders. Wrinkling of the soles of the feet is another indication of the newborn's gestational age. It occurs first near the toes and progresses toward the heels so that by the 40th week the entire sole is covered with creases. The preterm newborn will have smooth soles with only a few creases. “Cotton wool” hair that tends to stick together in small bunches so that it is difficult to distinguish one strand from another is common until the 38th week of gestation. This sign is of less significance in black infants. Cartilage of the ear can also be used to assess gestational age. Until about 32 or 33 weeks the pinnae stay folded when bent inward; by 36 weeks they spring back when released. At term they are firm enough to stand erect from the sides of the head.

ges·ta·tion·al age

1. in obstetrics, the developmental age of a fetus, usually based on the presumed first day of the last normal menstrual period.
2. in embryology, this term is superfluous because gestation does not begin until fertilization of an oocyte occurs around the middle of the menstrual cycle.

gestational age

Etymology: L, gestare + aetas, time of life
the age of a fetus or a newborn, usually expressed in weeks dating from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period.
enlarge picture
Ultrasound assessment of gestational age

ges·ta·tion·al age

(jes-tā'shŭn-ăl āj)
The age of a fetus expressed in elapsed time since the first day of the last normal menstrual period.

Gestational age

The estimated age of a fetus expressed in weeks, calculated from the first day of the last normal menstrual period.

ges·ta·tion·al age

(jes-tā'shŭn-ăl āj)
In obstetrics, developmental age of a fetus, usually based on presumed first day of last normal menstrual period.

gestational age,

n the age of a fetus or newborn, usually expressed in weeks dating from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period.


pertaining to or emanating from gestation.

gestational age
the age of the fetus in terms of time lapse, e.g. three month fetus, or in terms of proportion of total gestational duration, e.g. first trimester fetus.
gestational failure
termination by fetal death and resorption, abortion, miscarriage.
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