Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 40(2), March-April 2023, 178-183


Alcohol and cardiac abnormalities in embryos

A. Morsi-Yeroyanni, A. Morsi-Yeroyannis, T. Papamitsou, A. Siogka
Laboratory of Histology-Embryology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Consuming alcohol during pregnancy poses risks to the fetus, namely the manifestation of fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FAS/FASD). In the present paper, alcohol-related congenital heart abnormalities are examined. Congenital heart defects are morphological and functional abnormalities of the heart, which are present at birth and can disrupt the normal blood flow of the heart or great arteries. The most critical cardiac abnormalities due to alcohol consumption during pregnancy are d-transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary stenosis, as well as ventricular, atrial, and atrioventricular septal defects. The first clinical presentation in the immediate neonatal period is usually cyanosis (cyanotic heart diseases), without a standard occurrence. The treatment can be conservative or surgical, depending on the type and degree of the abnormality. Informing the public about the complications of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is essential to prevent the birth of children with abnormalities. Last but not least, early prenatal diagnosis is imperative for applying the best treatment.

Key words: Alcohol, Congenital heart defects, Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Pregnancy, Prenatal alcohol exposure.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine