The presence of certain physical features discernible at birth can help identify infants affected by the fetal alcohol syndrome.


Criteria for designation of fetal alcohol syndrome:

(1) 4 or more facial features (facial score >= 4)

(2) evidence of growth retardation


Facial features:

(1) broad nasal bridge: palpable widening of the nasal bones

(2) depressed nasal bridge: significant depression of the nasal bridge to the level of the eyes seen on a lateral view

(3) anteverted nares: increased exposure of the nostrils from pulling up of the nasal tip

(4) long vertical upper lip: increased distance between the base of the nasal septum and the vermilion

(5) hypoplastic philtrum: flattened or absent lateral ridges of the philtrum (the vertical groove in the median portion of the upper lip)

(6) thin vermilion: narrowing of the pigmented region of the upper lip


facial score =

= number of facial features present


Evidence of growth retardation: one or more of the following 2 SD or more below the mean for gestational age and gender:

(1) birth weight

(2) birth length

(3) head circumference


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