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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 702848, 11 pages
Research Article

Meconium Indicators of Maternal Alcohol Abuse during Pregnancy and Association with Patient Characteristics

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Universitaetsstraß 21-23, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstrß 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany
3Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Schwabachanlage 6-10, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
4Institute of Legal Medicine, University Hospital Charité, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin, Germany
5Lipidomix GmbH, Berliner Allee 261-269, 13088 Berlin, Germany

Received 12 January 2014; Revised 12 February 2014; Accepted 12 February 2014; Published 30 March 2014

Academic Editor: Gottfried E. Konecny

Copyright © 2014 Tamme W. Goecke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. Identification of women with moderate alcohol abuse during pregnancy is difficult. We correlated self-reported alcohol consumption during pregnancy and patient characteristics with objective alcohol indicators measured in fetal meconium. Methods. A total of 557 women singleton births and available psychological tests, obstetric data and meconium samples were included in statistical analysis. Alcohol metabolites (fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) and ethyl glucuronide (EtG)), were determined from meconium and correlated with patient characteristics. Results. We found that 21.2% of the 557 participants admitted low-to-moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Of the parameters analyzed from meconium, only EtG showed an association with alcohol history (). This association was inverse in cases with EtG value above 120 ng/g. These values indicate women with most severe alcohol consumption, who obviously denied having consumed alcohol during pregnancy. No other associations between socioeconomic or psychological characteristics and the drinking status (via meconium alcohol metabolites) could be found. Conclusion. Women who drink higher doses of ethanol during pregnancy, according to metabolite measures in meconium, might be less likely to admit alcohol consumption. No profile of socioeconomic or psychological characteristics of those women positively tested via meconium could be established.