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Maternal use of acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and muscular ventricular septal defects.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, 11219 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock, AR 72211, USA.



Muscular ventricular septal defects (mVSDs) are the most common congenital heart defects. Previous studies have suggested maternal use of acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and/or fever as risk factors. We evaluated the association between mVSDs and maternal use of acetaminophen or NSAIDs adjusting for fever.


Infants with nonsyndromic mVSDs (cases) and without birth defects (controls), with gestational age > or =37 weeks and their mothers were enrolled in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Two exposure periods were defined: the first trimester of pregnancy, and one month before pregnancy through delivery. Mothers reporting fever or medication use at least once during either period were considered exposed. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated independently for each exposure period.


The analysis included 168 cases and 692 controls. Two case groups were evaluated: all mVSD infants (n = 168) (including those with associated minor cardiac defects or noncardiac defects), and infants with isolated mVSDs (n = 133). Mothers of cases were less likely to be African-American than Caucasian (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.18, 0.73). Approximately equal numbers of case mothers and control mothers (10.4 versus 9.7%, respectively) reported at least one febrile episode during the first trimester. Neither acetaminophen nor NSAID exposure was significantly associated with mVSDs. This was true for both case groups and both exposure periods.


Significant associations were not detected between the occurrence of mVSDs and maternal use of NSAIDs or acetaminophen adjusting for maternal fever, nor were they detected between maternal fever and mVSDs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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