[Skip to Navigation]
May 1979

Fetal Trimethadione Toxicity: An Historical Footnote

Author Affiliations

Southwest Biomedical Research Institute The Genetics Center 123 E University Dr Tempe, AZ 85281

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(5):557-558. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130050101026

Sir.–I am always impressed by a well-documented, understated article, such as the one by Feldman et al on the fetal trimethadione syndrome that appeared in the Journal (131:1389, 1977).

They describe a family with a remarkable story: seven consecutive unsuccessful pregnancies (four malformed infants, all of whom died, and three spontaneous abortions) while the mother was taking trimethadione for petit mal epilepsy, followed by two normal babies after the mother stopped taking trimethadione.

This family was previously described, albeit in a rather unlikely place: a review article1 on genetic diagnosis and counseling. (Feldman et al did refer to this article, although they did not specify that it describes the same family).

The purpose of this letter is to supply an historical footnote.

Several years ago, Dr Richard Behrman asked me to write a review on genetic diagnosis in the newborn. I accepted the invitation and in turn asked

Add or change institution