Eyeground malformations in the fetal alcohol syndrome

Birth Defects Orig Artic Ser. 1982;18(6):651-5.


The fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) occurs in children born by alcoholic mothers. The syndrome consists of growth deficiency of prenatal onset, central nervous system effects with retarded mental and motor development and malformations of various organs, the most striking being the facial abnormities. There is a small head circumference and midfacial deformities. Typical eye features are telecanthus, epicanthus, short palpebral fissures, a flat nose bridge, ptosis, microphthalmus and strabismus. 30 children with FAS were examined for defects of the inner parts of the eyes. Malformations of the optic discs and retinal vessels were the most frequent findings, occurring in 16 children. Another five children had borderline findings. Nine had bilateral hypoplasia of the optic discs, eight of them also with changes of the retinal vessels, most often increased tortuousity. Four children showed bilateral optic atrophy. One of them also had highly tortuous retinal vessels. One girl had very tortuous retinal vessels without other findings in her fundi. One boy had pronounced malformations of both eyebulbs and another boy had bilateral changes of his eyeground structures. Various intraocular malformations were observed in 53% of the children with FAS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Optic Atrophy / congenital*
  • Optic Disk / abnormalities
  • Pregnancy
  • Retinal Vessels / abnormalities*