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Anticonvulsant Drugs and Congenital Abnormalities

JON M. AASE, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(5):758. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110240144024.
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To the Editor.—Recent studies linking anticonvulsant drugs and congenital abnormalities1,2 prompt this report of an apparently similar case in which the physical stigmas in the affected child seem to be accentuations of a genetic predisposition in the family.

Report of a Case  An 18-month-old girl was referred to us because of growth deficiency and several minor physical abnormalities. She was born to a 27-year-old white woman with generalized epilepsy. Throughout the pregnancy, the mother had taken diphenylhydantoin, 400 mg, and phenobarbital, 120 mg, daily. One seizure occurred in the fifth month of pregnancy. Breech presentation necessitated cesarian section in the 44th week of pregnancy. The infant's birth weight was 3,720 gm (8.5 lb) and length was 53.3 cm (21.0 in).Physical growth during infancy was slow; height, weight, and head circumference were all below the third percentile for her age. Her general health was good, but psychomotor development

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