teratogens

Last week, the global news outlets reported a case of a baby boy born in India with two penises and four legs. The patient was successfully operated on to remove the anomalous duplications (aka polymelia, extra limbs) and is doing well by all accounts.

Fortunately, these types of abnormal or accessory appendages are a rarity. But, they occur more often than you would imagine. Fetal and embryologic development is a dynamic process with cells migrating in multiple directions along innumerable planes to form organ systems, in particular, in early pregnancy. As a result, varying influences can alter their trajectory albeit of chromosomal, genetic or environmental (e.g. medications,...

Smoking is bad.  Bad for mom.  Bad for unborn and born baby.  Now, yet another study reveals its adverse effect on the developing child.  

This time the focus is the kidney and the resultant damage.  

Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan set out to clarify the association between smoking during and after pregnancy in the home with the risk of proteinuria at age 3 years old of the child.  

Proteinuria refers to the spilling of protein into the urine.  This can occur in a benign fashion when it is in trace amounts and due to orthostatic proteinuria (aka protein appearing in the urine upon standing due to a positional or postural shift).  When it is sustained and present in the urine in increasingly significant amounts, it can reflect underlying disease or...

Babies inside the womb, as they exit and once out into the world —especially if breastfed—are influenced to varying degrees by their mother’s exposures, albeit illicit or prescription drug intake, food ingestion or smoking, to name a few.  

If a pregnant mother is chronically using opioids, for example, then birth with subsequent severing of the umbilical cord enacts an abrupt cessation of the substance to the baby.  The result is a newborn in withdrawal.  This is called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).  It can be mild or happen upon a wide array leading to severe.

A new research letter in JAMA Pediatrics...