Fetal period of time during which the fetus grows rapidly and the organs are formed. The prenatal and postnatal analyses of the fetal structure provide information as to fetal growth, growth retardation, gestational age and congenital malformations. The development of the skeletal system during the intrauterine period takes place in an orderly manner as it also does in other systems. It was aimed that the morphometric development of the forearm in human fetuses during the period between 20-40 gestational weeks be radiologically investigated and that its clinical importance be evaluated, as well. A total of 100 fetal forearms (50 fetuses: 23 male, 27 female), the ages of which varied between 20-40 gestational weeks, without having any external pathology or anomaly were incorporated into the study. The fetuses were separated into groups according to weeks, trimesters and months. After the general external measurements of the fetuses had been performed, the mammographies and forearm radiographies of the fetuses were shot in the way that the forearms would remain in a prone position. Morphometric measurements pertaining to forearm structures were taken from the forearm radiographies that were shot with the help of a digital compass. Later on, the morphometric measurements in question were statistically evaluated. The mean values and the standard deviations of the measured parameters were determined according to gestational weeks, trimesters and months. There was a significant correlation between the measured parameters and the gestational age (p<0.001). In the comparison of the measured parameters between trimesters and months, it was observed that there was a statistically significant difference between the groups (p<0.05). Separately, it was also determined that there was no statistically significant difference in the comparison of the parameters, which was made between genders and right-left forearms (p>0.05). As for the results obtained in our study, we are of the opinion that the data obtained during this study period will be beneficial for the involved clinicians, such as those in charge of gynecology, radiology, forensic medicine and perinatology, in terms of evaluating the clinical studies related to the morphometric development of the forearm throughout the fetal period, in determining the fetal age and sex, and also in determining the pathologies and variations regarding the development of fetal skeletal system.
KEY WORDS: Fetus; Forearm; Fetal Development; Morphometry; Radiology; Skeletal System.