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Diagram for educational purposes showing how alcohol is transmitted to the fetus

(1) Alcohol consumed, (2) alcohol crosses into the placenta, (3) alcohol metabolizes, (4) byproducts of alcohol metabolism are detected in meconium. When alcohol crosses through the placenta, it is circulated throughout the fetus. Alcohol then metabolizes in the tissue. Byproducts of alcohol metabolism are formed in the fetus and have been detected in the meconium, the first feces of a newborn. Alcohol particularly affects the heart and brain and interferes with the fetus receiving sufficient oxygen and nourishment. Note: Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) are formed in the body by esterification of ethanol with free fatty acids and transesterification of glycerides. (Illustration by Grace Martin on June 7, 2019. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License, Relabeled by Dr. Douglas J Lanska.)

Associated Disorders

  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Alcohol withdrawal seizures
  • Alcoholic cerebellar degeneration
  • Alcoholic myopathy
  • Alcoholic neuropathy
  • Alcoholic pellagra
  • Autonomic hyperactivity
  • Central pontine myelinolysis
  • Cerebral contusion
  • Delirium tremens
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Hyponatremia
  • Korsakoff psychosis
  • Marchiafava-Bignami syndrome
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Substance abuse
  • Wernicke encephalopathy
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome