The diagnosis of FAS must be based on solid evidence. FAS is a diagnosis of great importance for the entire lifetime of the child, not to speak of its implications for the child's mother and other family members.
To establish a diagnosis of FAS, by convention, the following minimal criteria are met:
- small size and weight before and after birth (pre- and postnatal retardation)
- specific appearance of the head and face with at least two of the three following groups of signs: small head size (microcephaly), small eyes (microphthalmia) and/or short eye openings (palpebral fissures) and/or underdevelopment of the upper lip, indistinct groove between the lip and nose (the philtrum), and flattened cheekbones
- brain involvement with evidence for delay in development, intellectual impairment, or neurologic abnormalities
These criteria are used for the following reasons:
- FAS can be difficult to diagnose at and after birth.
- FAS can easily be confounded with many other disorders.
- There is no one clinical feature that specifically identifies FAS.
- There is no laboratory test to aid in the diagnosis.
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Read the Original Article: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome