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Environ Health Perspect. 1985 Feb;59:41-5.

Fetal PCB syndrome: clinical features, intrauterine growth retardation and possible alteration in calcium metabolism.


Pregnant mothers with yusho in Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kochi Prefectures delivered babies with a peculiar clinical manifestation which will be called fetal PCB syndrome (FPS). The birth rate incidences were 3.6% (Fukuoka Prefecture), 4% (Nagasaki Prefecture), 2.9% (Kochi Prefecture) and 3.9% (total). The manifestations consisted of dark brown pigmentation of the skin and the mucous membrane, gingival hyperplasia, exophthalmic edematous eye, dentition at birth, abnormal calcification of the skull as demonstrated by X-ray, rocker bottom heel and high incidence of light for date (low birth weight) babies. We suggest that there may be a possible alteration in calcium metabolism in these babies, related to the fragile egg shells observed in PCB-contaminated birds and to the female hormone-enhancing effect of PCB. The high incidence of low birth weight among these newborns and two other similar studies indicated that PCBs suppress fetal growth.

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