large for gestational age infant


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large for gestational age (LGA) infant

a newborn whose fetal growth was accelerated and whose size and weight at birth fall above the 90th percentile of appropriate for gestational age infants, whether delivered prematurely, at term, or later than term. Factors other than genetic influences that cause accelerated intrauterine growth include maternal diabetes mellitus and Beckwith's syndrome. LGA infants born of diabetic mothers are generally macrosomic and plethoric, with very pink skin and red, shiny cheeks. They are often listless and limp, feed poorly, and become hypoglycemic within the first few hours. A major problem is that preterm LGA infants, because of their size, are not recognized as high-risk neonates with immature organ system development. Often these infants develop respiratory distress syndrome because pulmonary maturation occurs later in gestation. In cases of Beckwith's syndrome the infant is characterized by gigantism, macroglossia, omphalocele or umbilical hernia, and visceromegaly. Compare appropriate for gestational age infant, small for gestational age infant.
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Large for gestational age infant