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Pediatr Surg Int. 2010 Feb;26(2):127-39. doi: 10.1007/s00383-009-2482-z. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Teratogens inducing congenital abdominal wall defects in animal models.

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  • 1Departments of Surgery, Wayne State University and Children's Hospital of Michigan, Michigan, USA.


Congenital abdominal wall defects are common anomalies which include gastroschisis, omphalocele and umbilical cord hernia. Recent reports indicate that gastroschisis is increasing in prevalence, whereas omphalocele has remained steady, suggesting that environmental factors may play a part in their pathogenesis. The aim of this study is to review animal teratogen studies resulting in abdominal wall defects to investigate their possible causes. Each report was examined not only for the teratogens causing the defects, but also to carefully identify the defect occurring and its correlation with the known clinical anomalies. We found many discrepancies between the nomenclature used by animal teratology investigators and that used by clinicians. We were able to confirm the induction of gastroschisis by 22 teratogens, omphalocele by 9 teratogens and umbilical cord hernia by 8. There is no doubt that environmental factors may be responsible, at least in part, for all three of the clinical abdominal wall defects. Future studies should take care to appreciate the differences between these anomalies and describe them in detail, so that accurate and meaningful conclusions can be obtained.

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