Comparison of Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Diagnostic Criteria

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Recently, increased attention has been focused on the diagnosis of the most prevalent category of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders (ARNDs). In 2013, proposed criteria for neurodevelopmental disorders associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) were included in the appendix of the latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The concordance of the 2 sets of criteria is unknown. This study examines the overlap in diagnostic criteria for ND-PAE and the ARND Behavioral Checklist in children.


Clinical charts from June 2013 to July 2016 were reviewed to identify patients with an evaluation for ARNDs and where the criteria for ND-PAE were also available.


The review found 86 charts with a diagnosis of ARNDs, which included the ARND Checklist and the ND-PAE criteria. We then calculated the sensitivity and specificity comparing the ND-PAE with the ARND Checklist as the comparison standard. The sensitivity was 95.0%, specificity was 75.0%, and the ND-PAE diagnosis correctly classified 89.5% of cases identified as meeting criteria for ARNDs by the checklist. The receiver operating characteristics resulted in a large shared area under the curve of 90.1%.


The 2 diagnostic constructs of ARNDs and ND-PAE seem to be very similar. Both the ARND and the ND-PAE variables are written in familiar formats and could be widely used by a variety of health care providers.

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