Antenatal ultrasound and risk of autism spectrum disorders

J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Feb;40(2):238-45. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0859-4. Epub 2009 Sep 1.


We evaluated antenatal ultrasound (U/S) exposure as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), comparing affected singleton children and control children born 1995-1999 and enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente health care system. Among children with ASD (n = 362) and controls (n = 393), 13% had no antenatal exposure to U/S examinations; case-control differences in number of exposures during the entire gestation or by trimester were small and not statistically significant. In analyses adjusted for covariates, cases were generally similar to controls with regard to the number of U/S scans throughout gestation and during each trimester. This study indicates that antenatal U/S is unlikely to increase the risk of ASD, although studies examining ASD subgroups remain to be conducted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult