Screening for prenatal alcohol exposure and corresponding short-term neonatal outcomes
© 2019 Detection of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is important for early intervention and treatment. The main purpose of this study was to compare 1.) PAE rates using the biomarker, phosphatidylethanol (PEth), in umbilical cord (UC) blood vs. ethyl glucuronide (EtG) in UC tissue, the standard of care, and 2.) Pregnancy characteristics and neonatal outcomes in newborns positive vs. negative for PAE biomarkers. We examined records of neonates born over a two-year span receiving UC-PEth dried blood spots testing at the time of delivery in addition to standard of care PAE screening (n = 146). UC-PEth testing had a higher PAE detection rate (26%) vs. UC tissue EtG (0%, p < 0.01). PAE was not associated with any neonatal dysmorphic features or short-term adverse outcomes. The absence of significant clinical findings for identifying PAE in neonates reinforces alcohol biomarker necessity. We conclude that UC-PEth may be a valuable test for assessing PAE at birth and in identifying infants at risk for developing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
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School of Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology