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Torticollis in infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome



To report the incidence of torticollis diagnosed in infants treated for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and compare neonates with and without torticollis.

Study design

This prospective cohort study reports on infants examined at 1–4 months of age. Numerous obstetrical/newborn factors and other drugs used during gestation were compared.


Of 501 neonates treated for NAS, 421 (84%) were seen for follow-up. Of these, 105 (24.9%) were diagnosed with torticollis. The only significant obstetrical/newborn factor identified was a lower rate if the parents were the primary caregiver after hospital discharge. Of the 105 cases, 88 (84%) were right-sided and 17 (16%) were left-sided.


These data demonstrate that torticollis is a common diagnosis in infants examined at 1–4 months of age after being treated for NAS with a predilection for this to be right-sided. The etiology for this is uncertain, but newborns treated for NAS need close follow-up post discharge.

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Presented at the 39th Annual Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine; February 11–16, 2019; Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Authors and Affiliations



CVT conceptualized and co-designed the study, coordinated and supervised the maternal and neonatal data collection, carried out the initial analyses, drafted the initial manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. AK and RN carried out the maternal/neonatal data collection, critically reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MG and TB co-designed the study, supervised the neonatal data collection, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MH supervised the maternal data collection, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Craig V. Towers.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Towers, C.V., Knapper, A., Gaylord, M. et al. Torticollis in infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. J Perinatol 41, 615–618 (2021).

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