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Ultrasound: “unlikely to increase the risk of ASD”

Posted Sep 04 2009 10:11pm

A couple of years ago I remember a lot of discussion on the groups I follow about ultrasound as a cause of autism. A lot of parents were concerned that they might have done something that resulted in their child’s autism diagnosis.

A recent study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders looked into the possibility.

Antenatal Ultrasound and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders
by Grether JK, Li SX, Yoshida CK, Croen LA..

Here is the abstract:

We evaluated antenatal ultrasound (U/S) exposure as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), comparing affected singleton children and control children born 1995-1999 and enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente health care system. Among children with ASD (n = 362) and controls (n = 393), 13% had no antenatal exposure to U/S examinations; case-control differences in number of exposures during the entire gestation or by trimester were small and not statistically significant. In analyses adjusted for covariates, cases were generally similar to controls with regard to the number of U/S scans throughout gestation and during each trimester. This study indicates that antenatal U/S is unlikely to increase the risk of ASD, although studies examining ASD subgroups remain to be conducted.

The study doesn’t rule out ultrasound completely, but perhaps this will be welcome news to those parents who were concerned.

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