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Diagnosis of fetal alcohol exposure through biomarkers in meconium

Grant number: 12/17063-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Public Health
Principal Investigator:Erikson Felipe Furtado
Grantee:Fabiana Spineti dos Santos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The high prevalence of alcohol consumption by women of reproductive age combined with unplanned pregnancy exposes the mother to a high risk to intoxicate at some time during pregnancy, especially in the early gestational period in which most of them have not yet became aware of the fact. Therefore, the development of methods for early detection it is extremely relevant for the prevention of fetal alcohol exposure as well for the early assessment of neonates at risk for development of problems of the fetal alcohol spectrum. The present study suggests a method for determination of biomarkers, represented by four ethyl esters of fatty acids in meconium as indicative of exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. The method consists in preparing the samples by liquid-liquid extraction followed by solid phase extraction of analytes in meconium and subsequent separation and quantification by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The neonates are derived from previously identified by screening questionnaires positive and negative pregnant women for risky alcohol use. A comparative analysis between these groups can be obtained, allowing a distinction between exposed neonates and not exposed to alcohol during pregnancy and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the questionnaire T-ACE and AUDIT in screening these women. (AU)