Author(s): Burd L, Roberts D, Olson M, Odendaal H
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: In this paper we review published studies of alcohol exposure on placentation, placenta growth and function. METHODS: We searched PubMed using the MeSH terms: placenta, ethanol, fetal alcohol syndrome and prenatal exposure with delayed effects. We searched the years 1996-2006 and used the references from other articles to expand our search. We limited the search to English only and human only. We excluded studies using choriocarcinoma and animal studies. We grouped the 66 papers into seven topic areas for ease of review. RESULTS: Alcohol exposure is associated with placental dysfunction, decreased placental size, impaired blood flow and nutrient transport, endocrine changes, increased rates of stillbirth and abruption, umbilical cord vasoconstriction, and low birth weight. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal alcohol exposure has a broad range of adverse effects on placental development and function. Additional research on placental development from populations with heavy alcohol exposure should be encouraged. A tissue bank of placentas with detailed assessment of exposure to alcohol, smoking and other relevant data should be considered as a repository to support additional research.
This article was published in J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science