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Fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a potential syndromic complication that can occur with maternal pre-natal alcohol exposure. It is also broadly categorized as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) due to the fact that the fetus may not show all the features and the broad spectrum of effects on the fetus from alcohol.

It is considered one of the commonest preventable causes of intellectual impairment. The estimated incidence in the western world is at around 0.2-1% of live births 6,7 for FAS and ~10% for FASD 7. It may affect up to 20-40% of pregnancies in mothers with chronic alcohol abuse 8.

The spectrum of features include:

  • hypoplasia of external genitalia 8
  • alcohol withdrawal may occur in infancy

Article information

rID: 12806
System: Obstetrics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • Alcohol related birth defect
  • Alcohol related neurodevelopment disorder

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