Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Is Excessive Prenatal Ultrasonography a Risk Factor for Autism? A Literature Review

Version 1 : Received: 3 June 2019 / Approved: 4 June 2019 / Online: 4 June 2019 (12:56:37 CEST)

How to cite: Moammar, H.; Sulayman, R. Is Excessive Prenatal Ultrasonography a Risk Factor for Autism? A Literature Review. Preprints 2019, 2019060030 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201906.0030.v1). Moammar, H.; Sulayman, R. Is Excessive Prenatal Ultrasonography a Risk Factor for Autism? A Literature Review. Preprints 2019, 2019060030 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201906.0030.v1).

Abstract

For the past several decades, abdominal prenatal ultrasonography has been the most significant technology in obstetrics with a long-established application. However, the frequency, exposure time, thermal and cavitation exposure indices, and increased acoustic output of the ultrasonic waves may be harmful to the embryo/fetus and might increase susceptibility to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The increase in the prevalence of ASD is associated with an affluent ethnicity, high socioeconomic status, and high parental education where prenatal ultrasonography is readily available and affordable. Enhanced biophysical adverse effects may link the analogous increase in prenatal ultrasonography and autism, and prenatal ultrasonography may emerge as a risk factor for autism. Radiography usage provides historical evidence for this fact: the predominant past opinion was that exposure to X-rays during pregnancy caused no significant risk to a fetus. However, the association between X-ray exposure and childhood leukemia was only established 40 years after X-ray use began. This review focuses on excessive PUS usage and ASD development. Public Abstract Advancements in medical technology over the past several decades have made prenatal ultrasound more frequently accessible to expecting mothers during their pregnancy, especially for the affluent. A parallel development in health care is the increase in autism diagnoses (Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD) in children of affluent families. There is a general lack of studies of the impact of prenatal ultrasound on fetuses, especially around varying attributes such as frequency, duration of exposure, and thermal and cavitation indices. There is also a historical precedent set, where exposing fetuses to X-rays was not found to be harmful until it was linked to the development of childhood leukemia decades later. This paper seeks to establish a need to further study these attributes of prenatal ultrasound overuse and their possible impact on a developing fetus, with a special focus on the occurrence of Autism.

Subject Areas

autism; autistic spectrum disorder; children; behavior; ultrasonography; prenatal; pregnancy

Comments (4)

Comment 1
Received: 2 July 2019
Commenter: Muain Haseeb
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Well done.
بالتوفيق.
Dr. Muain Haseeb
+ Respond to this comment
Comment 2
Received: 14 July 2019
Commenter: Birlanti Nabulsi
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: A very important research. Looking forward for the results.
+ Respond to this comment
Comment 3
Received: 15 July 2019
Commenter: Christoph Schmitz
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Before you draw too many conclusions that may be not justified, please have a look at the situation in the Netherlands. The Netherlands are most probably the country with the lowest number of prenatal ultrasonography investigations per mother in the western world; "Baby TV" does not exist there (I worked for five years as a neuroscientist in the Netherlands and served as senior author of the article titled "Neuropathological findings in autism" (Brain 2004;127:2572-2583). Co-author of this article was Prof. Herman van Engeland, at that time the most prominent autism researcher in the Netherlands (and one of the most respected autism researcher worldwide). Fact is that the incidence of autism in the Netherlands is (to my knowledge) not different from the incidence in other countries in the western world.
+ Respond to this comment
Comment 4
Received: 24 July 2019
Commenter: Melvin Ray Hayden
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Great paper and places a concern regarding excessive ultrasounds of the fetus; however, comment # 3 speaks against this hypothesis. Are there any comparative incidences of autism in the Netherlands vs USA?

Melvin R Hayden, MD
University of Missouri School of Medicine
Columbia, Missouri USA
+ Respond to this comment

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 4
Metrics 0


×
Alerts
Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.