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1.  A Prospective Cohort Study of the Prevalence of Growth, Facial, and Central Nervous System Abnormalities in Children with Heavy Prenatal Alcohol Exposure 
Background
Most children who are exposed to large quantities of alcohol in utero do not develop fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Population-based prospective data on the risk of developing components of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), however, are limited.
Methods
This was a prospective cohort study of 9,628 women screened during their first prenatal appointment in Chile, which identified 101 who consumed at least 4 drinks/d (exposed) matched with 101 women with no reported alcohol consumption during pregnancy (unexposed). Detailed alcohol consumption data were collected during the pregnancy. Children were evaluated up to 8.5 years of age by clinicians masked to exposure status.
Results
One or more functional central nervous system abnormalities were present in 44.0% (22/50) of the exposed children compared to 13.6% (6/44) of the unexposed (p = 0.002). Growth restriction was present in 27.2% (25/92) of the exposed and 12.5% (12/96) of the unexposed (p = 0.02). Abnormal facial features were present in 17.3% (14/81) of the exposed children compared to 1.1% (1/89) of the unexposed children (p = 0.0002) by direct examination. Of the 59 exposed children with data available to detect at least 1 abnormality, 12 (20.3%) had no abnormalities. Binge drinking from conception to recognition of pregnancy (OR = 1.48 per day, 95% CI: 1.15 to 1.91, p = 0.002) and after recognition of pregnancy (OR= 1.41 per day, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.95, p = 0.04) and total number of drinks consumed per week from conception to recognition of pregnancy (OR = 1.02 per drink, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.04, p = 0.0009) were significantly associated with abnormal child outcome.
Conclusions
After exposure to heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy, 80% of children had 1 or more abnormalities associated with alcohol exposure. Patterns of alcohol use that posed the greatest risk of adverse outcomes were binge drinking and high total weekly intake. Functional neurologic impairment occurred most frequently and may be the only sign to alert physicians to prenatal alcohol exposure.
doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01794.x
PMCID: PMC4162305  PMID: 22823161
Alcohol; Pregnancy; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; Growth Restriction; Neurodevelopment
2.  Hormonal profile and androgen receptor study in prepubertal girls with hypertrichosis 
Background
Prepubertal hypertrichosis is a reportedly benign condition characterized by an excessive growth of vellous hair in non-androgen dependent areas of the body compared to the amount usually present in normal subjects of the same age, race and sex. Although this condition is usually considered idiopathic and regarded as benign, it may be very disturbing cosmetically, causing significant patient and parental anxiety.
Method
We performed a hormonal and androgen receptor study in 42 prepubertal girls with hypertrichosis and 29 control girls from 2 to 8 years of age. Both groups underwent a determination of basal LH, FSH, 17OH progesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol and SHBG, abdominal ultrasound to assess ovarian morphology, and the number of androgen receptor CAG/GGC repeats in DNA obtained from peripheral leukocytes.
Results
The hypertrichosis score was higher in the cases compared to controls. Serum gonadotropins and sex steroids were similar in both groups, but SHBG was significantly lower in the girls with hypertrichosis (71.1 ± 2.9 vs 81.9 ± 3.0 nmol/L, p < 0.02). The distribution of shorter, larger and total alleles was not statistically different between cases and controls. The combined analysis of CAG/GGC, however, showed a significantly higher prevalence of the most androgen-sensitive haplotypes (1–2: <22CAG + 17/17GGC- < 14CAG + 17/18GGC) in girls with hypertrichosis compared to controls.
Conclusions
We conclude that girls with hypertrychosis exhibit AR(s) with enhanced sensitivity, which may facilitate the growth of their body hair.
doi:10.1186/1687-9856-2014-6
PMCID: PMC3998739  PMID: 24745883
Hypertricosis; Prepubertal girls; Androgen receptor; Body hair; Androgen metabolism
3.  Effects of Prenatal Ethanol Exposure on Postnatal Growth and the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Axis 
Hormone Research in Pædiatrics  2010;75(3):166-173.
Aims
To study the effect of in-utero alcohol exposure on the insulin-like growth factor axis (IGF) and leptin during infancy and childhood, considering that exposed children may exhibit pre- and postnatal growth retardation.
Methods
We prospectively identified heavily drinking pregnant women who consumed on average 4 or more drinks of ethanol per day (≥48 g/day) and assessed growth in 69 of their offspring and an unexposed control group of 83 children, measuring serum IGF-I (radioimmunoassay), IGF-II (immunoradiometric assay, IRMA), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) (IRMA) and leptin (IRMA) at 1 month and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years of age.
Results
IGF-II levels increased with age in both groups, but the rate of increase was significantly higher in exposed children, and levels were significantly higher in ethanol-exposed children at 3, 4, and 5 years of age. In exposed children, IGF-I levels were higher at 3 and 4 years and leptin levels were significantly lower at 1 and 2 years. Exposed subjects showed a much lower correlation between IGF-I and growth parameters than unexposed subjects.
Conclusion
Exposure to ethanol during pregnancy increases IGF-I and IGF-II and decreases leptin during early childhood. The increase in serum IGF-II concentrations in ethanol-exposed children suggests that this hormone should be explored as a potential marker for prenatal alcohol exposure.
doi:10.1159/000319706
PMCID: PMC3068754  PMID: 20847545
Fetal alcohol syndrome; Pregnancy; Alcohol abuse; Insulin-like growth factor I; Insulin-like growth factor II

Results 1-3 (3)