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Alcohol consumption during pregnancy: intervention guidance for the prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Daniela Fiorentino, Valentina Carito, Simona Solombrino, Giovanna Coriale, Maria Concetta Marcella Scamporrino, Paola Ciolli, Marisa Patrizia Messina, Marco Fiore, Mauro Ceccanti


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a term used to describe the broad spectrum of pathologies and disorders caused by alcohol exposure in uterus. Since alcohol is able to directly cross the placental barrier, alcohol intake during pregnancy causes a broad range of symptoms whose severity can greatly vary in degree. It is already well established that Ethanol exhibits teratogenic effects resulting in growth delays, physical and specific facial anomalies, neurological defects including intellectual disabilities and behavioral problems. Since it is not possible yet to establish a safe threshold of consumption, the only feasible recommendation is the total abstention from alcohol during pregnancy. This work firstly presents an overview on FASD and reviews specific methodologies to overcome difficulties related to the investigation of alcohol behavior in pregnant women. Subsequently, different protocols of intervention are proposed according to different styles of alcohol consumption. The final goal is to provide clinicians with a range of methods in order to prevent damage in the newborns.


alcohol, pregnancy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, FASD, prevention

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About The Authors

Daniela Fiorentino
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Centro di Riferimento Alcologico della Regione Lazio

Valentina Carito
Istituto di Biologia Cellulare e Neurobiologia, IBCN-CNR, Roma, Italy

Simona Solombrino
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Centro di Riferimento Alcologico della Regione Lazio

Giovanna Coriale
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Centro di Riferimento Alcologico della Regione Lazio

Maria Concetta Marcella Scamporrino
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Centro di Riferimento Alcologico della Regione Lazio

Paola Ciolli
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Dipartimento di Scienze Ginecologico-Ostetriche

Marisa Patrizia Messina
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Dipartimento di Scienze Ginecologico-Ostetriche

Marco Fiore
Istituto di Biologia Cellulare e Neurobiologia, IBCN-CNR, Roma, Italy

Mauro Ceccanti
“Sapienza” Università di Roma, Italy

Centro di Riferimento Alcologico della Regione Lazio

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