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Setyo Purwono
Bagian Farmakologi & Terapi
Fakultas Kedokteran - UGM

is the science that studies

the causes, mechanisms, and

patterns of abnormal development.
Developmental disorders present at
birth are called congenital anomalies,
birth defect or congenital
Congenital anomalies are of four
clinically significant types:
malformation, disruption,
deformation and dysplasia.

Teratology - terms
Malformation is a primary structural
defect resulting from a localized error of
Disruption is specific abnormality that
results from disruption of normal
developmental processes. It depends on
time not on agent
Deformation is an alteration in shape /
structure of previously normally formed part
Syndrome is a recognized pattern of
malformati ons with a given etiology.

Anomalies caused by genetic

Chromosomal aberrations are common and
are present in 6 to 7% of zygotes (result
Numerical chromosomal
abnormalities usually non-disjunctionerror in cell division
Down syndrom (21) Edwards (18) Patau
(13) Turner (X0), Klinenfelter (XXY)
Structural chromosomal
abnormalities chromosome breaks =
translocation, deletion (cri du chat
syndrome), duplication, inversion.
Mutant genes achondroplasia, fragile-X

Anomalies caused by environmental

Teratogens are exogenous agents that may

cause developmental defects.

Drugs ( warfarin, valproic acid, phenytoin,
vitamin A, thalidomide, cytostatic drugs
cyclophosphamide, lithium carbonate)
Chemicals (PCBs : polychlorynated biphenyls,
methyl mercury, alcohols)
Infections (rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes,
toxoplas ma, syphilis)
Ionizing radiation (RTG: radioisotope
thermoelectric generator)
Maternal factors (diabetes mellitus,
hyperthermia, phenylketonuria, hyper-/hypothyrosis)

Basic principles in
Critical periods of development
Dosage of the drug or chemical
Genotype (genetic constitution) of
the embryo and mother

Sensitive Period- That broad period of

time when, if an insult occurs, there are
likely to be consequences.

insults may occur over a broad period of time

or in a number of ways

e.g., the neurobehavioral effects due to exposure of

alcohol during last trimester)

Critical Period- A specific period of time

during which, if an insult occurs, a
particular consequ ence will happen
Malformation of ears due to thalidomide
exposure on days 34-38 of PND.

Critical and sensitive periods of


Characteristics and Effects of Teratogens

Time of exposure

Worst effects= period when a body part or

organ system is developing.
When is this?

Susceptibility to harm varies

Not all embryos or fetuses are affected in the

same way by the same exposure.

Characteristics of the fetus influence the effects

Studies with identical twins frequently show that one
twin has impairment from a teratogen while the
other doesnt.
Research on FAS shows that ounce/day can cause
neurobehavioral problems in some children, while
some children born to alcoholic mothers dont get

Characteristics and Effects of


Different teratogens can cause the

same defect (equifinality)

For example: ADHD (attention deficit

hyperactivity disorder) may be caused

chronic stress experienced by the mother

during pregnancy
exposure to drugs during pregnancy
exposure to alcohol during pregnancy

Characteristics and Effects of


Single teratogen may cause more

than 1 defect (multifinality)

Rubella may cause blindness,

deafness, and mental impairments
Exposure to alcohol may cause
physical malformations, growth
retardation, and mental retardation.

Characteristics and Effects of


Dose Response (more is worse than less)

FAS- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Associated with heavy drinking throughout

physical malformations
may have major mental retardation

FAE- Fetal Alcohol Effects

Associated with binge drinking, or occasional

drinking- Not as heavy, not as often
Behavioral effects- ADHD, less ability to control

Characteristics and Effects of


Fathers exposure to teratogens also

increases risk

Because sperm take 72 hours to mature and

during this period the sperm are susceptible
to malformations due to environmental
Tetracycline (discolors the enamel of the
infants teeth).

Typically associated with mom, but it is also true if

dad takes it.

Characteristics and Effects of


Long-term outcomes can be

mediated by postnatal experience

Initial effects seem to be more severe

Effect may be a susceptibility
Long term high quality care and
enriched environment helps
OVERCOME or minimize bad start
HIV Babies with parents who were drug
and alcohol users did better than non.

Environmental Teratogens

What are they?

Methyl mercury- Pollutant found in
fish (very high quantities in some
areas of Japan)

Increased birth weight C-Sections

Neurobehavioral effects (ADD, ADHD,
Learning disorder)

Environmental Teratogens

Lead Poisoning- found in old paint

and water pipes

Anemia- treatable
Encephalopathy- abnormal
development of the brain & MR
Young children and infants who are
lead poisoned can get MR- Eating the
paint off the walls

Social Drugs

Alcohol- 43% of alcoholic mothers have FAS

kids (other 57% have FAE)

Full blown FAS:

early exposure (specifically days 19-23)- results in facial

dysmorphology- Diagnostic criteria

repeated exposure, throughout pregnancy (early/late)

wide set eyes (small eyes)

thin upper lip
flat filtrum

mental retardation (mild to severe)
growth retardation (<10% on growth charts)

Late exposure (last trimester)

Decreased birth weight

Emotional lability (inability to control emotions/lots of
emotional outbursts)

Social Drugs- Alcohol

MECHANISM- How does it work?

Moms ability to metabolize alcohol is

reduced during pregnancy- decreases as
pregnancy advances
breakdown of alcohol uses extra oxygenreduces the amount that is available to the
developing organism- Occurs by collapsing
the umbilical cord
Alcohol can cross the placenta which impairs
embryonic and fetal development
Fetuss ability to metabolize alcohol is 50% of
moms (so alcohol remains longer at the end
of pregnancy)

Social Drugs

Smoking (nicotine)


Decreased birthweight
Decreased heart rate
Increased carbon monoxide in moms system,
impairs oxygen exchange and crosses the placentaBook study
increased spontaneous abortions
increased perinatal mortality
increased hyperactivity, ADHD, ADD


reduced oxygen available to the developing fetus

Decreased heart rate and blood pressure

Social Drugs

Caffeine- Not as much known.

Studies have conflicting results.

Increases heart rate

Increases blood pressure
Constricts blood vessels
Dehydrates, so probably reduces the
oxygen supply

Illegal Drugs

Marijuana- small numbers of studiesWHY?????

Moms who smoke during pregnancy

Attention may be impaired

babies are smaller

Moms who smoke during pregnancy:

have better parent-infant relationship at 1 month of

have calmer babies
Have better social interactions with the infant

Problem with the internal validity. Why??

Self-selected group may have more relaxed view

of the world, so therefore have more lax
relationship with the child

Illegal Drugs



Decreased gestational age

Pre-term, low birth weight
Placental abruption
Increased rates of birth defects- Malformations of
the heart, CNS, gastrointestinal tract
Increased hyperactivity, ADD at school age.

Mechanism: reduced oxygen supply

Recent study with 300 exposed & 300 nonexposed, controlling for SES found that Low
SES had a greater effect on the infant
development than cocaine.

Low B-W and Gest Age

Low birth weight and pre-term birth

Low birth weight= < 2500g or 5.5 lbs

Pre-term birth = < 35 weeks- Not
necessarily bad
Influences on the size of the infant

Mothers ht, wt
Mothers age
Mothers weight at birth
Environmental variables
Birth order

Birth weight

Babies BW

Maternal Age (in years)

<14 or >40, increased risk

Gestational weight, Birth weight,

and Survival
Low Birth weight & survival
Weight at birth
% survival
1 1 lbs
1 - 2 lbs
2 - 3 lbs
3 3 lbs
>5 lbs
Pre-term birth & survival to 1 year
Gestational age @ birth
<24 weeks
24-25 weeks
26-29 weeks
30-32 weeks
33-36 weeks
37-40 weeks
41+ weeks
99.4 %

Course of losses

Testing for teratogenicity

Standardized procedures for testing drugs for
teratogenic potential are used
- They use at least two common mammalian
species that are given several different doses of
test agent once or several successive days
organogenesis and early fetal period
- Coventionally 3 doses are administered; the
causing maternal toxicity
Evaluation of human case reports and
epidemiological investigation (retrospective and


Labeling of some prescription drugs

includes information about the level of risk
for the fetus and the extent of caution
necessary in their use.
The FDA has established five categories
(A, B, C, D, and X) to indicate a drug's
potential for causing teratogenicity.
This format was first announced in the
September 1979 FDA Drug Bulletin.
Because of labeling revisions, many
products now use this format.

US FDA Pregnancy Category


Adequate, well-controlled studies

in pregnant women fail to
demonstrate a risk to the fetus in
the first (second, third, or all)
trimester(s), and the possibility
of fetal harm appears.

Animal studies do not indicate a risk

to the fetus; however, there are no
adequate, well-controlled studies in
pregnant women. OR
studies have shown an
adverse effect on the fetus
adequate, well-controlled studies in
pregnant women
have failed to
demonstrate a risk to the fetus.
Despite the animal findings, the
possibility of fetal harm appears
remote, if used during pregnancy.

Animal studies have shown that the drug
exerts teratogenic or embryocidal effects,
and there are no adequate, well-controlled
studies in pregnant women,
OR No studies are available in either
animals or pregnant women.
Positive evidence of human fetal risk
exists, but benefits in certain situations
(eg, life-threatening situations or serious
diseases for which safer drugs cannot be
used or are ineffective) may make use of
the drug acceptable despite its risks.

Studies in animals or humans

abnormalities or there is positive
evidence of fetal risk based on
human experience, or both, and
the risk clearly outweighs any
possible benefit. The drug is
contraindicated in women who
are or may become pregnant.

Disease have to be treated in all cases!
Disease without treatment is more risky
than appropriate treatment.
We should use drugs with well-known
effect on pregnancy without signs of
embryotoxicity. It is not recommended to
change quickly a lot of drugs.
It is not recommended to use
combinations of various drugs.
Undesirable effects may be multiplayed.
Any woman in reproductive age may
be pregnant !!