March 1976

Hexachlorophene Lesions in Newborn Infants

Author Affiliations

From St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC (Dr Gowdy), and the Division of Physical Sciences, Consumer Product Safety Commission (Dr Ulsamer).

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(3):247-250. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120040025005

• Vacuolization of the white matter of the brain is produced by a number of disease entities and chemicals, including hexachlorophene. Brains of 135 stillborn infants and infants dying in the neonatal period were examined for vacuole formation in the white matter to determine if any hexachlorophene-like lesions could be found. A nonsignificant excess of vacuoles was found in infants bathed in hexachlorophene at birth compared with infants not bathed in it.

Analysis of 11 brains for hexachlorophene showed that detectable levels were present in five, all of which showed vacuolization. None was detected In the remaining six, three of which also showed vacuolization. In two of these there was no hexachlorophene exposure.

(Am J Dis Child 130:247-250, 1976)