Ultrasound exams during pregnancy are common. And researchers have now looked at whether a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is more likely among children exposed to this technology in the womb.
There is no association between the number or duration of prenatal ultrasounds and a later diagnosis of autism in the child, according to a new study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
However, the researchers did find a statistical association between deep ultrasound wave penetration during the first and second trimesters and autism.
"Depth of penetration has to do with the distance between the ultrasound transducer (probe) on the skin and the point at what you're looking at on the ultrasound," said Dr. Jodi Abbott, a co-author of the new study and a physician with Boston Medical Center.