Cesarean Delivery Under General Anesthesia Causing Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Not Very Likely

  • Aeyal RazEmail author
  • Amit Lehavi
  • Shai Fein
Letter to the Editor

The paper by Huberman et al. (2019) recently published in this journal got a wide exposure in the Israeli public media and raised major concerns regarding the relation between general anesthesia during Cesarean delivery and the development of autistic spectrum disorders later in life. The group performed a case–control study using analysis of patient charts with the intention to characterize the role of labor and delivery in the development of autistic spectrum disorders. As expected, they found a statistical correlation between cesarean delivery conducted under general anesthesia and later development of autism (Huberman et al. 2019). It has to be noted however, that the study design used in this study may lead to false conclusions, based on how the groups are selected. Thus, their results cannot support the conclusion of a causal relation.

In order to understand why concluding that there is a causal relation is wrong, it is important to understand how an anesthetic plan is made for a...


Author Contributions

AR, AL and SF all participated in initiating the work, preparing the manuscript and proofreading it.


This work was supported the United States—Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Grant 201732 to AR.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyRambam Health Care CampusHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion – Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical CareSamson Assuta Ashdod University HospitalAshdodIsrael
  5. 5.Joyce & Irving Goldman Medical School, Faculty of Health SciencesBen Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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