A Retrospective Enquiry into Possible Teratogenic Effects of Drugs in Pregnancy

  • I. D. Gerald Richards
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 27)


Since Hale’s observation in 1933 that sows fed a diet deficient in vitamin A produce piglets without eyeballs (1), very many physical and chemical agents have been shown to be teratogenic in animals. But the search by epidemiological methods for environmental components in the etiology of human malformations has been less rewarding. There is, however, good evidence that environmental influences are involved, for the incidences of various defects show geographical, secular, and seasonal fluctuations and social class, maternal age, and parity differences. Neither retrospective enquiry (2) nor prospective study (3) has yet been of much value in uncovering the environmental factors responsible, and so far, very few specific agents have been firmly incriminated. It now seems likely that, although environmental influences are undoubtedly important, they will prove to be much more subtle and much less accessible to control than was at one time hoped.


Spina Bifida Teratogenic Effect Pyloric Stenosis Retrospective Enquiry Miscellaneous Drug 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. D. Gerald Richards
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Pediatric Research GroupUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland

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