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Fetal hydantoin syndrome in siblings



Fetal hydantoin syndrome in siblings



Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift 109(3): 68-72



The two children of an epileptic woman who underwent therapy with hydantoin during both pregnancies showed the characteristic findings of the fetal hydantoin syndrome: growth retardation, microcephaly, mental retardation, and a distinct hysmorphic pattern. Both exhibited a ridged metopic suture, hypertelorism, a short nose with a broad base, hypoplasia of the distal phalanges and nails of the toes, and inguinal hernias. In addition the 18-month-old girl exhibited epicanthal folds, strabismus, ptosis, and a small ventricular septal defect; she had been exposed in utero to 300 mg mesantoin daily. Her 6 1/2-year-old brother was more severely retarded, lacking speech and presenting with infantile autism. During pregnancy the mother had taken 400 mg mesantoin daily. About half of the offspring of epileptic women treated with hydantoin during pregnancy are mentally retarded, and 11% exhibit in addition the pattern of dysmorphic findings known as the fetal hydantoin syndrome. Hydantoin should therefore be strictly avoided in epileptic women of child-bearing age unless safe contraceptive measures are taken. In the event of pregnancy, therapeutic abortion should be considered if hydantoin therapy must be maintained.

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Accession: 038940093

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PMID: 104383



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