Paper - Simple methods of correlating crown-rump and crown-heel lengths of the human fetus

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Noback GL. Simple methods of correlating crown-rump and crown-heel lengths of the human fetus. (1922) Anat. Rec. 22(4): 241-244.

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This historic 1922 paper by Noback described a method for calculating the age of a fetus.

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Simple Methods Of Correlating Crown-Rump And Crown-Heel Lengths Of The Human Fetus

G. J. Noback

University of Minnesota and the Medical College of Virginia



Investigators in prenatal anatomy and development report their findings in one of three ways as regards length of the indi- viduals studied. Some writers use both crown-rump and crown- heel length (Michaelis, ’O6; Mall, ’10). Others use only the crown-rump (Streeter, ’20), and some use the crown-heel alone (Meyer, ’ 15 ; Scammon, ’19; Noback, ’21). Work based on one of these measurements alone is obviously difficult to compare with work based upon the other.

The relation between the crown-rump and the crown-heel lengths during fetal life is practically constant. The formulae here presented further demonstrate this fact.

The crown-heel length of the human fetus is equal to the crown-rump length (in millimeters) minus one, plus one-half of this amount. The following formula makes possible the utilization of data reported in crown-rump length which is to be compared or combined with data based upon the crown-heel length alone.

CH: 3C121—3

Illustration: The known crown-rump length is 95 mm. What is the corresponding crown-heel length?

on = 3:2<_9E 2 i.e., the crown-heel length is 141 mm.

1 The formulae in this report were demonstrated at the thirty-seventh session of the American Association of Anatomists, March, 1921.

The second formula may be used to determine the crown- rump length when the crown—heel length is known. It is ex-

pressed as follows: OR = 20%?

Illustration: The known crown—heel length is 141 mm. What is the corresponding crown-rump length?

OR = 2 x 1? + 3 i'.e., the crown-rump length is 95 mm.

In order to determine to what extent measurements made by different observers would deviate from the formulae, I have plotted them on ordinate paper against the curve obtained by use of the formulae. The crown-rump lengths are represented by the abscissas and the crown—heel lengths by the ordinates. The accompanying plate shows the formulae curve as a straight line, and it is readily seen that the measurements made by the several observers are distributed quite evenly about it?

The following table shows the extent of deviation from the lengths derived by formula in the data of Mall, MacKeen, and Michaelis.



Mall (weekly averages of 1000 cases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. MacKeen (161 cases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Michaelis (weekly averages from 14 weeks to birth) . . . . . . . ..

I—l o—4<DN> OIUIIF 03600 CA7°3\I

Two sets of data on measurements of the newborn infant are also plotted against the curve. These observations were made by Taylor ’19 and by Weissenberg ’06. The averages of their measurements vary but a trifle from the curve derived by the formulae.

2 Besides data of Mall and of Michaelis I have used measurements made in the Institute of Anatomy, University of Minnesota, by Helen Adams MacKeen and

by Halbert Dunn. The work of the latter two investigators will appear in due course.

FDRWULRE 5orTHe CORRELATION as SflT1NCx (Crown—Rump) and STANDING (Crotm—HaeU

as oivmna 450


A O o

2: CROWN~RUMP = 3%-*3

8: C, . . , _ .;1_l_1Lll.l..L._].1_1_..l_1_L|lL1J:;'

I—*["rTr‘“I—]"§1rr—fi—'l§I1—‘v‘T%:’I—I'T1“]1—I—rI‘} CYOWYIHCQL

22 <_»

MRCKEEN ,DUNN,NOBRCK. O MALL - Weeklg R».-arages. $ TAYLOR -' Ncwborn,/-Ivzraga. ® WEISSENBEHG "N¢w\>om,Rv¢vage

Crorrn- Rump

so we 150 200 250 300mm ' " ‘

Literature Cited

MALL, F. P. 1910 Determination of the age of human embryos and fetuses in Keibel F. and Mall FP. Manual of Human Embryology I. (1910) J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia., p. 199.

MICHAELIS, PAUL 1906 Alterbestimmung menschlichen Embryonen. Archiv fiir Gynakologie, Bd. 70.

MEYER, A. W. 1915 Fields, graphs and other data on fetal growth. Contr. to Embryol., no. 4, Carnegie Inst., Wash.

NOBACK, G. J. 1921 A contribution to the topographic anatomy of the thymus gland, with particular reference to its changes at birth and in the period of the newborn. Amer. Jour. Dis. Child., vol. 22, pp. 120-144.

SCAMMON, R. E. 1919 Some graphs and tables illustrating the growth of the human stomach. Amer. Jour. Dis. Child., vol. 17, pp. 395-422.

Streeter GL. Weight, sitting height, head size, foot length, and menstrual age of the human embryo. (1920) Contrib. Embryol., Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. , : 143-170.

TAYLOR, Roo1) 1919 The measurements of 250 full-term, new-born infants. Amer. Jour. Dis. Child., vol. 17, pp. 351—362.

WEISSENBERG, S. 1906 Die Korperproportionen des Neugeborenen. Jahrb. f. Kinderheilkunde, Bd. 64, S. 839.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, May 25) Embryology Paper - Simple methods of correlating crown-rump and crown-heel lengths of the human fetus. Retrieved from

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