Fetal alcohol syndrome


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Fetal alcohol syndrome

Reproductive system

Male and female reproductive system disorders

Precocious puberty

Delayed puberty

Klinefelter syndrome

Turner syndrome

Androgen insensitivity syndrome

5-alpha-reductase deficiency

Kallmann syndrome

Male reproductive system disorders

Hypospadias and epispadias

Bladder exstrophy


Penile cancer


Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Prostate cancer


Inguinal hernia




Testicular torsion

Testicular cancer

Erectile dysfunction

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Female reproductive system disorders


Ovarian cyst

Premature ovarian failure

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Ovarian torsion

Krukenberg tumor

Sex cord-gonadal stromal tumor

Surface epithelial-stromal tumor

Germ cell ovarian tumor

Uterine fibroid



Endometrial hyperplasia

Endometrial cancer


Cervical cancer

Pelvic inflammatory disease


Female sexual interest and arousal disorder

Orgasmic dysfunction

Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder


Fibrocystic breast changes

Intraductal papilloma

Phyllodes tumor

Paget disease of the breast

Breast cancer

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Gestational hypertension

Preeclampsia & eclampsia

Gestational diabetes

Cervical incompetence

Placenta previa

Placenta accreta

Placental abruption



Potter sequence

Intrauterine growth restriction

Preterm labor

Postpartum hemorrhage


Congenital toxoplasmosis

Congenital cytomegalovirus (NORD)

Congenital syphilis

Neonatal conjunctivitis

Neonatal herpes simplex

Congenital rubella syndrome

Neonatal sepsis

Neonatal meningitis


Gestational trophoblastic disease

Ectopic pregnancy

Fetal hydantoin syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Reproductive system pathology review

Disorders of sex chromosomes: Pathology review

Prostate disorders and cancer: Pathology review

Testicular tumors: Pathology review

Uterine disorders: Pathology review

Ovarian cysts and tumors: Pathology review

Cervical cancer: Pathology review

Vaginal and vulvar disorders: Pathology review

Benign breast conditions: Pathology review

Breast cancer: Pathology review

Complications during pregnancy: Pathology review

Congenital TORCH infections: Pathology review

Disorders of sexual development and sex hormones: Pathology review

Amenorrhea: Pathology Review

Testicular and scrotal conditions: Pathology review

Sexually transmitted infections: Warts and ulcers: Pathology review

Sexually transmitted infections: Vaginitis and cervicitis: Pathology review

HIV and AIDS: Pathology review

Penile conditions: Pathology review


Fetal alcohol syndrome


0 / 7 complete

USMLE® Step 1 questions

0 / 1 complete

High Yield Notes

15 pages


Fetal alcohol syndrome

of complete


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 1-day-old male infant is brought to the newborn nursery two hours after birth. He was born via vaginal delivery at 38 weeks gestation. The infant’s mother did not receive prenatal care. Family history is unremarkable for hereditary disorders. Weight and length are at the 5th percentile. Vitals are within normal limits. Physical examination reveals microcephaly, short palpebral fissures, a thin vermillion border, and a smooth philtrum. A harsh holosystolic murmur is heard at the lower left sternal border on cardiac auscultation. This infant’s physical exam findings are most likely secondary to in-utero exposure to which of the following?  

External References

First Aid








Atrial septal defect (ASD) p. 305

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 306

Developmental delay

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 639


in fetal alcohol syndrome p. 640

Fetal alcohol syndrome p. 306, 638, 639

holoprosencephaly in p. 505

Holoprosencephaly p. 505

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 639

Intellectual disability

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 639


fetal alcohol syndrome p. 639

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 306

Tetralogy of Fallot p. 304

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 306

Ventricular septal defect (VSD) p. 305, 728

fetal alcohol syndrome p. 306


Content Reviewers

Viviana Popa, MD


Jung Hee Lee, MScBMC

Maria Emfietzoglou, MD

Fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, occurs because of maternal use of alcohol during pregnancy.

It’s currently the leading cause of intellectual disability in the US and can cause characteristic physical abnormalities.

Normally, the fetus is connected to the placenta by the umbilical cord, so the fetus gets oxygen and nutrients from the mother.

Unfortunately, ethanol and toxic alcohol metabolites like acetaldehyde also pass freely through the placenta, but the fetal liver doesn’t have the necessary enzymes to metabolize them, so they build up inside the fetus really fast.

In FAS, ethanol interferes with cell division and proliferation, cell growth and differentiation, and with the migration of mature cells to their final location in the developing embryo, which affects the development of various fetal tissues, including the brain.

Alcohol-induced brain damage includes partial or complete agenesis of the corpus callosum, which links the two hemispheres together, so it either forms incompletely, or not at all.

This causes intellectual disability and seizures.

When the frontal cortex and the hippocampus are affected, this causes poor memory and communication skills, as well as intellectual disability.

The cerebellum can also be smaller in size, called hypoplasia, leading to trouble with movement and balance.

The most common symptom of FAS is growth retardation, resulting in low height and weight.


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. FASD can include physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities.

There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and drinking any amount can cause FASD. FASD is 100% preventable if women don't drink alcohol during pregnancy. If a woman does drink alcohol during pregnancy, there is no way to know for sure how her child will be affected.


  1. "Robbins Basic Pathology" Elsevier (2017)
  2. "Harrison’s principles of internal medicine" McGraw Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  3. "Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine 8E" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  4. "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 )" American Psychiatric Association (2013)

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