IMR Press / FBL / Volume 24 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/4733

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Morphometric analysis in ethnic neonates from multiple substance exposure

Show Less
1 Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.20059, USA
2 National Human Genome Center, Howard University, Washington, D.C., USA
3 Department of Pediatrics, Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital, Washington, D.C, USA

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2019, 24(3), 527–544;
Published: 1 January 2019

In the United States, approximately 10% of newborn infants are exposed prenatally to alcohol and/or illicit substances. However, no studies have evaluated the compounding effects of multiple illicit substances exposure in utero as potential teratogen (s). The potential teratogenic effects of nicotine and illicit substances (e.g. cocaine, marijuana and heroin) have previously been studied but there has been no documentation of facial landmark dislocation (s). Our goal is to investigate whether morphometric analysis could differentiate facial landmark dislocations in neonates of African descent, when exposed to alcohol, nicotine and illicit substances, either singly or in combination. Craniofacial features from a cohort of 493 African-American neonates less than 48 hours of age were analyzed by Multivariate Hotelling’s T2 analysis of 99 relevant facial landmark triangles. Morphometric analysis discriminated unisque asymmetries in groups of certain illicit exposure(s). Neonates with multiple prenatal exposures had fewer facial landmark dislocation(s) compared to single exposures. Deviation from normal facial features has the potential to be used as a screening tool for prenatal exposure to some illicit substances.

Fetal alcohol syndrome
Illicit substances
Morphometric analysis
Back to top