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1/7. Apparent cyclophosphamide (cytoxan) embryopathy: a distinct phenotype?

    cyclophosphamide (CP) is an alkylating agent widely used in treating cancer and autoimmune disease. CP is classified as a pregnancy risk factor D drug and is teratogenic in animals, but population studies have not conclusively demonstrated teratogenicity in humans. Six isolated reports of prenatally exposed infants with various congenital anomalies exist, but to date no specific phenotype has been delineated. The purpose of this report is to document a new case of in utero CP exposure with multiple congenital anomalies and to establish an apparent CP embryopathy phenotype. The mother had systemic lupus erythematosus and cyclophosphamide exposure in the first trimester. She also took nifedipine, atenolol, clonidine, prednisone, aspirin, and potassium chloride throughout pregnancy. The infant had growth retardation and multiple anomalies including microbrachycephaly, coronal craniosynostosis, hypotelorism, shallow orbits, proptosis, blepharophimosis, small, abnormal ears, unilateral preauricular pit, broad, flat nasal bridge, microstomia, high-arched palate, micrognathia, preaxial upper limb and postaxial lower limb defects consisting of hypoplastic thumbs, and bilateral absence of the 4th and 5th toes. chromosomes were apparently normal. The reported cases of in utero exposure to cyclosposphamide shared the following manifestations with our patient: growth deficiency, developmental delay, craniosynostosis, blepharophimosis, flat nasal bridge, abnormal ears, and distal limb defects including hypoplastic thumbs and oligodactyly. We conclude that (a) cyclophosphamide is a human teratogen, (b) a distinct phenotype exists, and (c) the safety of CP in pregnancy is in serious question.
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2/7. High maternal fever during gestation and severe congenital limb disruptions.

    Hyperthermia is defined as a temperature of at least 1.5 degrees C over the normal core body temperature. It is a proven teratogen in animals and in humans. The type of defects induced by hyperthermia in experimental animals are: anencephaly/exencephaly, encephalocele, microphthalmia, arthrogryposis, abdominal wall defects, limb deficiencies, embryonic death, and resorption. In humans it has been observed that infants prenatally exposed to hyperthermia presented with spina bifida, encephalocele, microphthalmia, micrognathia, external ear anomalies, cardiac defects, hypospadias, gastrointestinal defects, cleft lip and/or cleft palate, abdominal wall defects, diaphragmatic hernia, hirschsprung disease, mobius syndrome, oromandibular-limb hypogenesis spectrum, and spontaneous abortions. We describe an additional case with severe limb deficiencies whose mother had fever over 39 degrees C for 2 days in the second and in the fourth month of amenorrhoea. We conclude that, based on the degree of development of the humeri and the femora and the type of limb deficiencies, this case presents a disruption that most probably occurred in the fourth month of gestation.
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3/7. Pedicle scapular apophysis transplantation in congenital limb malformations.

    Congenital segmental amputations are difficult to correct. Free interposition bone grafts with growth centers were tried experimentally by many investigators even at the beginning of this century. Attempts at clinical application of this principle, however, were mostly failures. More recently, with the advent of microsurgical techniques, new hope has arisen. In particular, toe transfers in children have confirmed the survival of such growth centers, as these transfers could be found to grow normally [1]. The transfer of vascularized epiphysis with its growth plate has been shown in animal limbs to achieve a rate of growth comparable with the normal site. Originally, two donor sites were used with acceptable results in children. These were the superior epiphysis of the fibula and the iliac crest. So far, in most clinical applications, they have been used as appositional transfers. However, a growth problem occurring at the donor site has proved to be quite crippling.
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4/7. Limb reduction defects in humans associated with prenatal isotretinoin exposure.

    Retinoic acid has long been used to induce limb reductions defects in experimental animal studies. No limb malformations, however, have been reported among malformed retinoic acid-exposed human fetuses from case reports or epidemiologic studies. We report a child and a fetus with limb reduction malformations following maternal use of isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid) during the first trimester of pregnancy. The child had a unilaterally absent clavicle and nearly absent scapula, with a short humerus and short, synostotic forearm bones. He also had ventriculomegaly and developmental delay, minor dysmorphic facial features, and a short sternum with a sterno-umbilical raphe. The fetus had a unilaterally absent thumb with normal proximal bony structures. Other findings included hydrocephalus, craniofacial anomalies, thymic agenesis, supracristal ventricular septal defect, single umbilical artery, anal and vaginal atresia, and urethral agenesis with dysplastic, multicystic kidneys. Although the limb malformations were quite dissimilar, a number of anomalies that are frequently found among isotretinoin-exposed fetuses/infants were present in both cases. This increases the probability that retinoic acid caused these limb defects, but a causal association cannot be conclusively drawn on the basis of these two retrospective case reports.
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5/7. Major limb malformations following intrauterine exposure to ethanol: two additional cases and literature review.

    Two children are reported in whom major limb malformations were identified and whose mothers had consumed large quantities of alcohol in the first trimester of pregnancy. In one there was complete amelia of the upper limbs, while the other had preaxial polydactyly of both hands. These cases, taken together with previously reported instances of major limb anomalies following intrauterine ethanol exposure, as well as animal investigations that have demonstrated virtually identical limb malformations following ethanol administration, suggest that maternal ethanol abuse may be casually related to these limb malformations. We suggest that interruption of blood supply to the developing limb may be caused by ethanol exposure and may result in all of the various limb malformations described.
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6/7. Preaxial ray reduction defects as part of valproic acid embryofetopathy.

    It is well known that prenatal exposure of valproic acid (VPA) may be associated with the occurrence of neural tube defects (Robert and Gibaud, 1982). Additional adverse effects related to VPA exposure include craniofacial abnormalities, skeletal defects, brain defects, cardiovascular defects, and urogenital defects (DiLiberti et al., 1984; Winter et al., 1987; Huot et al., 1987; Jager-Roman et al., 1986; Martinez-Frias, 1990). Recently, radial ray reduction has been reported as a severe type of skeletal defect associated with VPA exposure (Jager-Roman et al., 1986; Huot et al., 1987; Verloes et al., 1990). We report two additional cases of this severe limb reduction defect as part of a broader pattern of altered morphogenesis in fetuses exposed to VPA and to confirm an association between such severe specific skeletal defects and VPA exposure. We briefly review teratologic studies in experimental animals which document the biologic plausibility of this association, and suggest that fetuses exposed to VPA undergo detailed prenatal ultrasonographic evaluation of the limbs.
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7/7. Severe limb defects and craniofacial anomalies in a fetus conceived during acitretin therapy.

    We describe a 20-week-old fetus with multiple congenital anomalies exposed to acitretin in the first trimester of pregnancy. acitretin and its ethylester etretinate are both vitamin a congeners; drugs of this group are well-known teratogenic agents. Since the marketing of acitretin only one report on human teratogenicity associated with acitretin has been published. The present male fetus showed severe symmetric anomalies of upper and lower limbs, craniofacial anomalies, ear anomalies, and an atrioventricular septal defect (ASD). Although the craniofacial anomalies resemble the abnormalities described in classical "retinoic acid embryopathy," limb anomalies were seldomly reported after maternal use of vitamin a congeners. However, in laboratory animals limb defects were frequently observed after retinoid exposure in utero. This case emphasizes again that extreme care and precaution are needed before prescribing a potentially teratogenic drug to a fertile woman.
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