Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Anesthesia, and Fetal Loss in Baboon Model of Pregnancy

Author(s): Kelsey North, Ana Tobiasz, Ryan D. Sullivan, Zoran Bursac, Jose Duncan, J. Pierce Sullivan, Steven Davison, Danielle L. Tate, Stacey Barnett, Giancarlo Mari, Anna N. Bukiya


Approximately half of pregnant women engage in alcohol consumption some time during pregnancy. On the other hand, a small percentage of pregnant women undergo surgery and anesthesia at some time during pregnancy. In emergencies, anesthesia has to be administered to patients who are under alcohol intoxication. Anesthetic management during pregnancy while patients are intoxicated with alcohol is challenging. Here, we utilized a retrospective analysis of data available from 17 pregnant baboons that underwent anesthesia with alcohol exposure during mid-pregnancy. The analysis was designed to answer three questions: whether maternal vital signs remained stable under anesthesia combined with alcohol, whether maternal vital signs that were routinely monitored under anesthesia could serve as predictor(s) of fetal loss, and what the impact of the combined application of anesthesia and alcohol was on fetal loss. For the purpose of this retrospective analysis, we utilized vital sign (heart and respiratory rates, temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide, systolic and diastolic blood pressure) and pregnancy outcome (miscarriage versus fetal survival through second trimester-equivalent of human pregnancy) records from 17 pregnant baboons that underwent gastric infusion of either control or alcohol-containing drink under isoflurane anesthesia during the second trimester-equivalent of human pregnancy. Half of the dams underwent a brief prior anesthetic episode for the purpose of gestational age confirmation. Thus, in our analysis, baboons were divided into four groups: “Control” without prior anesthesia, “Control” with prior anesthesia, “Alcohol” without prior anesthesia, and “Alcohol” with prior anesthesia. We did not detect any maternal vital sign in any of the groups that would be predictive of a fetal loss. However, prior anesthesia predisposed dams to the risk of lowering maternal systolic blood pressure and to a significant decrease in maternal oxygen level during the combined application of anesthesia and alcohol. Conceivably, our data showed the largest fetal loss in this group. The disruptive nature of anesthesia and alcohol on maternal vital parameters warns against the use of anesthesia in combination with alcohol during pregnancy.

image 10.4303/jdar/236064

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