Fetal brain during a binge drinking episode: a dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI fetal brain perfusion study

Neuroreport. 2010 Jul 14;21(10):716-21. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833b5047.


We assessed the effects of a single episode of maternal alcohol intoxication on fetal brain blood perfusion in three pregnant dams (baboons) at the 24th week of pregnancy using dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging. After the oral administration of alcohol, there was a four-fold increase in the peak contrast concentrations in the fetal brain. In addition, we observed a two- to three-fold increase in the contrast uptake and washout rates in the fetal brain. The underlying mechanisms of these changes are unknown, but we hypothesized that these could include the alcohol-mediated changes in placental permeability and fetal cerebral blood flow. Our findings indicate that alcohol intoxication produces profound changes, which may detrimentally influence neurodevelopmental processes in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Intoxication / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / blood
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / poisoning*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Contrast Media / pharmacokinetics
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Ethanol / poisoning*
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA / pharmacokinetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Myometrium / drug effects
  • Myometrium / physiopathology
  • Papio hamadryas
  • Perfusion Imaging / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Uterus / drug effects
  • Uterus / physiopathology


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Contrast Media
  • Ethanol
  • gadodiamide
  • Gadolinium DTPA