Which tests are performed in the workup of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

Testing

There are no blood studies recommended for the routine assessment of ASD. Although several metabolic abnormalities have been identified in investigations of people with autism (eg, elevated 5-HT, reduced serum biotinidase, abnormal neurotransmitter functions, impaired phenolic amines metabolism), a metabolic workup should be considered on an individual basis. No biologic markers for autism currently exist.

Studies that may be helpful in the evaluation of autistic disorder include the following:

  • EEG, sleep-deprived: [6] To exclude seizure disorder, acquired aphasia with convulsive disorder (Landau-Kleffner syndrome), biotin-responsive infantile encephalopathy, related conditions

  • Psychophysiologic assessment: To show lack of response habituation to repeatedly presented stimuli (in respiratory period, electrodermal activity, vasoconstrictive peripheral pulse amplitude response); auditory overselectivity may be seen

  • Polysomnography: To identify sleep disorders and to demonstrate seizure discharges


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