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February 1987

Occurrence of Strabismus in Infants Born to Drug-Dependent Women

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia (Drs Nelson and Calhoun); and the Department of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia (Mss Ehrlich and Matteucci and Dr Finnegan).

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(2):175-178. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460020065028

• Maternal drug abuse during pregnancy exposes the fetus to the possibility of toxic or addicting effects. At a methadone hydrochloride maintenance program providing medical care to drug-dependent women and their infants, ophthalmologic examinations of all infants born during a 36-month period were performed. Twenty-nine infants prenatally exposed to psychoactive drugs were seen at birth and on follow-up. The 24% prevalence of strabismus found in the drug-exposed infants was significantly greater than that of 2.8% to 5.3% reported in the general population. These data suggest that maternal drug abuse and increased methadone dosage during pregnancy may predispose infants to the development of strabismus.

(AJDC 1987;141:175-178)