Ultrasound in first trimester linked to severity of autism symptoms, says UW study

Researchers say early ultrasounds in autistic kids may increase the severity of their symptoms.

A new study shows the link between diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy and more symptoms of autism.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Autism Research and conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle’s Children, did not look at what causes autism, just the severity of symptoms in children with autism.

“There has been a real struggle in why there are so many kids with autism,” said lead author Sara Webb, a UW Medicine researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

“Where does this disorder develop from? How do kids get autism? And the second question is why are kids with autism so different from each other? This study really looks at the second question.

As a mother of two, Webb said given what she knows now,  she would not have ultrasound in the first trimester unless there is a medical necessity and that includes knowing how far along the pregnancy is.

The study is a collaboration between UW Medicine, UW Bothell and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.


KING 5's Elisa Hahn talks more with the UW researchers of the study tonight on KING 5 News at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2016 KING


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