The Effect of Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol and Other Drugs

  • Nancy L. Day
  • Patricia A. Coble
  • Marie D. Bloom


Epidemiological evidence gathered in recent years has confirmed earlier case reports of a relationship between alcoholism, alcohol use during pregnancy, and poorer pregnancy outcome. Findings, reported originally by Lemoine, Harrousseau, and Borteyru1 have been corroborated in several different clinical settings, and a cluster of infant characteristics related to maternal alcoholism has been termed the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Cardinal features of the syndrome include (1) growth deficiency in both the prenatal and postnatal periods, (2) central nervous system anomalies such as microcephaly, mental retardation, and irritability, and (3) craniofacial anomalies including short palpebral fissures, frontonasal alterations, thin upper vermillion border, flat midface, and hypoplastic maxilla and/or mandible.2 The presence of only some of these features is denoted as fetal alcohol effects or FAE.


Maternal Smoking Prenatal Exposure Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Maternal Alcohol Maternal Alcohol Consumption 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy L. Day
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Coble
    • 1
  • Marie D. Bloom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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