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April 2018

Prenatal Ultrasonography and the Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Center on Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle, Washington
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 4Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 5Division of Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington, Bothell
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(4):319-320. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.5685

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally diagnosed disorder reflecting clinically significant and persistent impairments in social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities. Autism spectrum disorder is a heterogeneous disorder, with variability in severity of impairment, intellectual, and language ability and comorbid behavioral and medical concerns. The diagnostic category has undergone historical shifts over time, changing the boundaries of inclusion and categorization. As noted by Chaste et al,1 our understanding of the etiology of ASD is complex and has also evolved through time. Currently, ASD, as with other psychiatric disorders, is thought to reflect a complex set of genetic and environmental contributions.1 The most replicated findings of increased nongenetic risk for ASD include pregnancy-related complications and perinatal conditions.2 Unfortunately, the focus on other environmental causes has often progressed down less mechanistically justifiable pathways.

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