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Assessing maternal alcohol consumption in pregnancy: comparison of confidential postnatal maternal interview and measurement of alcohol biomarkers in meconium
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  • Published on:
    The importance of objective assessment of prenatal exposure to alcohol through measurement of biomarkers in meconium
    • Oscar Garcia-Algar, Neonatologist Hospital Clinic de Barcelona
    • Other Contributors:
      • Luigi Tarani, Paediatrician
      • Simona Pichini, Pharmacologist
      • Francesco Busardo, Coroner
      • E,milia Marchei, Chemist

    The importance of objective assessment of prenatal exposure to alcohol through measurement of biomarkers in meconium

    Oscar Garcia-Algar1,2,3*, Luigi Tarani4, Francesco Paolo Busardò5, Simona Pichini3,5, Emilia Marchei5

    1. Neonatology Unit, Hospital Clinic-Maternitat, ICGON, BCNatal, Barcelona Centre for Maternal Foetal and Neonatal Medicine, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Department de Cirurgia i Especialitats Mèdico-Quirúrgiques, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    3. European Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Alliance (EUFASD), Stockholm, Sweden
    4. Department of Pediatrics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
    5. National Centre on Addiction and Doping, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

    Dear Editor,
    We read with attention the paper by Henderson et al. concerning comparison of confidential postnatal maternal interview and measurement of alcohol biomarkers in meconium (1). We would like to draw attention on their conclusion: “Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) and Ethylglucuronide (EtG) measured in meconium have low sensitivity and specificity for self-reported alcohol consumption after 20 weeks’ gestation in an unselected Scottish population and measurement of these alcohol biomarkers in meconium cannot currently be recommended for the identification of newborns at risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).”
    It has been more than 20 years since meconium analy...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.