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February 1965

Chemistry and Prevention of Congenital Anomalies.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(2):255. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860140135042

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This brief monograph of 78 pages of text and 35 pages of references reviews for the clinician the readily available information of the incidence, etiology, and prevention of congenital anomalies. The bulk of the data presented is from animal experimentation with attempts at extrapolation to human pregnancies. Unfortunately, so little data is available on human material that the common practice of resorting to describing single cases in a somewhat uncritical, almost anecdotal manner occasionally is adopted.

The title is somewhat deceptive in that the chemistry of congenital anomalies receives relatively little attention, largely because the molecular action of teratogenic agents is not known any more than is the molecular basis of differentiation. The value of the monograph rests in its attempt to cover the causation of anomalies in a broad manner, but this also results in its weakness, since in 78 pages depth and breadth cannot be achieved. Each group

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