Become A Member

  1. Home
  2. March 2016
  3. 4. Diagnostic Accuracy of Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) for Screening Low Birth Weight Babies
Article Image

4. Diagnostic Accuracy of Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) for Screening Low Birth Weight Babies

1.  Uzma Salman 2. Fehmina Arif 3. Muzamil Shabana Ejaz 4. Muhammad Rafique Memon


1.  Trainee Paediatrics, 2. Prof. of Paediatrics, 3. Asstt. Prof. of Paediatrics, 4. Medical Officer, Dept. of Paediatrics, DUHS & Civil Hospital, Karachi




Objective: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) for screening low birth weight babies.


Study Design: Cross-sectional study.


Place and Duration of study: This study was conducted at the Pediatric Unit II and Gynecology Unit II at Civil Hospital Karachi, Pakistan, from January to June 2012.


Materials and Methods: A hospital base study was carried out on full term, singleton 112 live born babies. Birth weight was taken through digital weighing scale as gold standard against anthropometric measurement of MUAC in centimeters. Correlation between MUAC and low birth weight was calculated with 95 % confidence interval. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated.


Results: Out of 112 newborn babies studied, 44 (39 %) were male and 68 (61%) were female. The mean birth weight was 2.316 ± 0.563 kgs and 51 (45.5%) newborns were l w birth weight (LBW). The mean MUAC was 8.90 ± 1.08. In low birth weight mean MUAC was 8.41± 0.87; 95% CI (8.21; 8.61) and in


normal  birth  weight  mean  MUAC  was  9.90  ±  0.70;  95%

I  (9.66;  10.13).Pearson  correlation


low  birth  weight  and  MUAC  was  found

statistically  significant  (r=  0.858;P-value  <0.001).  A  cut-off

point of <9.3 cm of MUAC showed 81.1% sensitivity and 78.3% specificity.


Conclusion:  Mid  upper  arm  circumference

was  stat st  ally

significant  anthropometric  surrogate

of  birth

weight  at  cut-off  point  <  9.3  cm  in  the

study  populat on.  Further  studies  are  needed  to  validate  the

finding  of  this  study  in  community  setting.

MUAC  s  a  simple,  practicable,  quick  and  reliable



for predicting LBW newborns in the commu ity a d can be easily measured by paramedical workers in developing nations.


Key Words: Low birth weight, Anthropomet ic measurements, MUAC, newborn


Citation of article: Salman U, Arif F, Ejaz MS, Memon MR. Diagnostic Accuracy of Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) for S reening Low Bi th Weight Babies. Med Forum 2016;27(3):13-16.