Australian Birth Defects Society

A Society devoted to the study of birth defects

Quick round-up of interesting articles that have passed my desk this month.

Journal Club

December 2017

The American College of Ob and Gynae have released a committee opinion of Sulfonamides, Nitrofurantoin and Birth Defects.

This updated review recommends the continued prescribing of sulfonamides or nitrofurantoin in the first trimester when no other suitable alternative antibiotics are available.

Also recently updated are Guidelines for

· Diagnostic imaging

· Marijuana use

· Smoking cessation

· Immunization


Comparative safety of anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of congenital malformations and prenatal outcomes. BMC Medicine (2017) 15:95.

A handy systematic review of AED exposure data during pregnancy.


Birth defects after use of antithyroid drugs in early pregnancy: a Swedish nationwide study . Eur J Endocrinol 177, 369–378.

The population-based study included 162 babies with early pregnancy exposure to methimazole and 218 to propylthiouracil and 66 to both. Finding no significant increase in birth defects. Sub-group analysis revealed an increased incidence of ASD following methimazole exposure. The overall frequency of sever malformation swas low in line with the low exposure rate perhaps due to the restriction of the study to live births.


Human teratogens and genetic phenocopies.  Understanding pathogenesis through human genes mutation. Eur J Med Gen 60 (2017) 22e31.

Genetic phenocopies of drug-induced embryopathies can make counselling problematic. This paper reviews our current understanding of proposed mechanisms of teratogenic action by examining human geteic disorders.

October 2017

Page updated 6 October 2017