Very little is known about the alcohol elimination rates of newborns who have had chronic alcohol exposure in utero. In these case reports, blood alcohol levels were taken immediately before delivery, at delivery, and postdelivery for 2 mothers who drank alcohol during their pregnancies and 3 single-birth newborns. Newborn A1 of Mother A had no physical characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The initial blood alcohol level for this newborn was 38.4 mg/dL 129 minutes after birth, with a subsequent blood alcohol level of 5.5 mg/dL 304 minutes after delivery, resulting in an alcohol elimination rate of 11.3 mg/dL per hour. The blood alcohol level for Mother A was 87.4 mg/dL 66 minutes before delivery. Newborn A2 of mother A had FAS. Sixty minutes after delivery, the blood alcohol level for this newborn was 39.5 mg/dL, and the alcohol level of the mother was 42.1 mg/dL. Newborn B1 of mother B had FAS. At 67 minutes after birth, newborn B1 had a blood alcohol level of 246.5 mg/dL, which dropped to 178.7 mg/dL 302 minutes after birth, resulting in an alcohol elimination rate of 17.3 mg/dL per hour. This alcohol elimination rate is within the metabolism range (15–49 mg/dL per hour) of adults with alcoholism. The maternal blood alcohol level was 265.9 mg/dL 27 minutes before delivery. Blood alcohol levels drawn on both the mother and newborn at delivery and 2 or 3 hourly follow-up levels can provide evidence that fetal alcohol dehydrogenase activity is induced by chronic maternal alcohol use.
- alcohol dehydrogenase
- American Indian
- fetal alcohol metabolism
- maternal and newborn blood alcohol levels
- FAS —
- fetal alcohol syndrome
- Accepted April 13, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics