TERATOGEN UPDATEENVIRONMENTALLY INDUCED BIRTH DEFECT RISKS John L Sever, Robert L Brent (eds) New York, Alan R. Liss. 1986. 248 pp, 579.50
Teratogen Update is a summary of human teratogens compiled of articles written between 1975 and 1986. Many of them were written for the journal Teratology and have been either rewritten or updated for this volume. The editors felt that because of increasing interest in human teratogens, a compilation of these articles would be valuable and, indeed, it is a very useful book for health professionals. Drugs, infections, chemicals, and physical or nutritional insults are covered in various chapters. In addition, an approach to teratogenicity as well as the medicolegal aspects of teratogens are summarized.
The section on drugs includes thalidomide, alcohol, DES, warfarin, trimethadione, aminopterin, methotrexate, antituberculosis drugs, tetracycline, vitamin A, conjoiners, penicillamine, and although it is not a human teratogen, there is a chapter on Bendectin®.
Valproic acid, lithium, androgens, progestérones, and birth control pills are not discussed in specific chapters, but in the broader chapters on teratogenic mechanisms. Another chapter addresses the common major defects, the timing of ingestion, and a proposed mechanism leading to congenital anomalies.
In the area of infections, congenital rubella, cytomegalic conclusion virus, toxoplasmosis, varicella, equine, encephalitis, and congenital syphilis are discussed in depth.
Other chapters concentrate on such teratogens as chemical exposures, physical agents, and nutritional factors. The section of the book on the complexities of dealing with teratogens, the methodologies, statistics, and potential pitfalls is very helpful.
The emergence of litigation related to drugs and the problems that need to be understood by those testifying make this a particularly important compilation brought together from a number of sources.
Overall, this is a revival collection of information which goes into more depth than most of the books on teratogens and therefore becomes a particularly useful resource to health professionals.