Lithium pp 147-166 | Cite as

Pharmacology—Lithium Teratology

  • Morton R. Weinstein
  • Michael D. Goldfield


Women are slightly more likely than men to develop manic-depressive illness (Spiegel and Bell, 1959) and manic-depressive illness typically begins and unfolds during the reproductive years. There has been a rapid accumulation of evidence that lithium is useful in the prophylaxis of manic and, perhaps, depressive episodes, and it is probably now the treatment of choice for the acute manic phase of manic-depressive illness. These facts taken together guarantee that pregnant women and their fetuses will be exposed to lithium, and that the possible teratogenicity of the lithium ion will become a matter of importance for many patients, their families, and their physicians.


Mitotic Index International Register Club Foot Cleft Palate Teratogenic Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Apgar, v., and Stickle, G., 1968, Birth defects, J. Am. Med. Assoc. 214:1325.Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, J. M., 1971, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  3. Ban, T. A., 1970, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  4. Bass, A. D., Yntema, C. L., Hammond, W. S., and Frazer, M. L., 1951, Studies on the mechanism by which sulfadiazine effects the survival of the mammalian embryo, J. Pharmacol. Exptl. Therap. 101:362.Google Scholar
  5. Cahen, R. L., 1964, Evaluation of the teratogenicity of drugs, Clin. Pharmacol. Therap. 5:480.Google Scholar
  6. Dawson, E. B., Moore, B. S., and McGanitz, W. J., 1970, The mathematical relationship of drinking water lithium and rainfall to mental hospital admission. Diseases Nervous System 31:811.Google Scholar
  7. DeVincentis, M., and Runström, J., 1967, Studies on controlled and released respiration in animalized and vegetalized embryos of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, Exptl. Cell Res. 45:681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Duvauchelle, R., 1966, Role of the Li ion in the development of blastodiscs of chick embryos cultured in vitro, Biologica (Santiago) 39:56.Google Scholar
  9. Flickinger, R. A., Miyagi, M., and Moser, C. R., 1967, The relationship of DNA synthesis to RNA synthesis in developing frog embryos. Develop. Biol. 15:414.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frasier, F. C., 1961, Genetics and congenital malformations, in: Progress in Medical Genetics, pp. 38–80, Grune and Stratton, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Friedrich, U., and Nielsen, J., 1969, Lithium and chromosome abnormalities. Lancet 2:435.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Genest, P., and Villeneuve, A., 1971, Lithium, chromosomes and mitotic index. Lancet 1:1132.Google Scholar
  13. Goldfield, M., and Weinstein, M., 1971, Lithium in pregnancy: a review with recommendations, Am. J. Psychiat. 127:888.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Greenhouse, G., and Hamburgh, M., 1968, Analysis of trypan blue induced teratogenesis Rana pipiens embryos. Teratology 1:61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hvistendal, J., 1971, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  16. Jarvik, L. F., Bishun, N. P., Bleiweiss, H., Kato, T., and Moralishvili, E., 1971, Chromosome examinations in patients on lithium carbonate. Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 24:166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johansen, K. T., 1971, Lithium teratogenicity. Lancet 1:1026.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johansen, K., and Ulrich, K., 1969, Preliminary studies of the possible teratogenic effect of lithium. Acta Psychiat. Scand. Suppl. 207:91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lehmann, F. E., 1945, Einführung in die physiologische Embryologie, Birkhäuser, Basel.Google Scholar
  20. Nassr, D. G., 1969, Use of lithium in pregnancy, Brit. J. Psychiat. 115:1102.Google Scholar
  21. Needham, J., 1942, Biochemistry and Morphogenesis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.Google Scholar
  22. Nymgärd, K., 1970, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  23. Rosenthal, S. H., 1971, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  24. Schou, M., 1957, Biology and pharmacology of the lithium ion, Pharmacol. Rev. 9:17.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Shirkey, H. C. (ed.), 1968, Pediatric Therapy, 1966–1967, m C. V. Mosby Co., St. Louis.Google Scholar
  26. Silverman, J. A., Winters, R. W., and Strande, C., 1971, Lithium carbonate during pregnancy: apparent lack of effect upon the fetus. A case report. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 109:934.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Spiepi, J., and Bell, N., 1959, The family of the psychiatric patient, in: American Handbook of Psychiatry (S. Arieti, ed.). Vol. 1, pp. 114–149, Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Stolt, G., 1968, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  29. Szabo, S. Z., 1969, Teratogenicity of lithium in mice. Lancet 2:849.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Szabo, S. Z., 1970, Teratogenic effect of lithium carbonate in the foetal mouse. Nature 225:73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Timson, J., and Price, D. J., 1971, Lithium and mitosis. Lancet 2:93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Trautner, E. M., Pennycuik, P. R., Morris, R. J. H., Gershon, S., and Shankly, K. R., 1958, The effects of prolonged subtoxic lithium ingestion on pregnancy in rats, Australian J. Exptl. Biol. Med. Sci. 36:305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vacaflor, L., Lehmann, H. E., and Ban, T. A., 1970, Side effects and teratogenicity of lithium; carbonate treatment, J. Clin. Pharmacol. 10:387.Google Scholar
  34. Vowles, M., 1971, Personal communication to the International Register of Lithium Babies.Google Scholar
  35. Warick, L. R., 1970, Lithium carbonate in the treatment and prophylaxis of recurrent affective disorders: long-term follow-up. Bull. Los Angeles Neurol. Soc. 35:169.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Weinstein, M., and Goldfield, M., 1969, Lithium carbonate treatment during pregnancy: report of a case, J. Nervous Mental Disease 30:828.Google Scholar
  37. Weinstein, M. R., and Goldfield, M. D., 1970, Lithium ion toxicity and pregnancy, J. Am. Med. Assoc. 214:1325.Google Scholar
  38. Weinstein, M. R., and Goldfield, M. D., 1971, Wanted: reports of lithium babies. Pediatrics 48:161.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Willier, B. N., Weiss, P. A., and Hamburger, V., 1955, Analysis of Development, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  40. Wilson, J. G., 1965, Embryological considerations in teratology, in: Teratology—Principles and Techniques (J. G. Wilson and J. Warkany, eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 251–254.Google Scholar
  41. Wright, T. L., Hoffman, L. H., and Davis, J., 1970, Lithium teratogenicity. Lancet 1:1026.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morton R. Weinstein
    • 1
  • Michael D. Goldfield
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California Medical SchoolSan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations