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Early Hum Dev. 2008 Jan;84(1):29-35. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Adverse neurodevelopmental outcome of infants exposed to opiate in-utero.

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  • 1Department of Neonatal Medicine, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

In-utero drug exposure is associated with increased risks of perinatal morbidity and mortality, however longer term neurodevelopmental outcome of survivors is poorly described.

AIMS:

The aims of this paper are: (1) to review the published literature which examines neurodevelopmental outcome in infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and (2) to report developmental follow-up data from a case-control study of babies exposed to opiate in-utero.

METHODS:

This study was conducted at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, NSW, through the multidisciplinary NAS service. Literature was reviewed after searching MEDLINE for relevant studies. Our own case-control study was conducted to examine neurodevelopmental outcome. A number of standardized neuropsychological tools were employed to assess these infants.

RESULTS:

Results from previously published studies on outcome of infants with NAS were not reassuring as to reported 'normal development'. In our own case-control study, opiate-exposed infants were significantly more likely to have neurodevelopmental impairment compared to healthy control infants, when assessed at 18 months and 3 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Infants exposed to opiates in-utero are at increased risk of neurodevelopmental problems throughout early childhood.

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PMID:
17728081
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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