Most known human teratogens are associated with a unique or characteristic pattern of major and minor malformations and this pattern helps to establish the causal link between the teratogenic exposure and the outcome. Although traditional case-control and cohort study designs can help identify potential teratogens, there is an important role for small cohort studies that include a dysmorphological examination of exposed and unexposed infants for minor structural defects. In combination with other study design approaches, the small cohort study with a specialized physical examination fulfills a necessary function in screening for new potential teratogens and can help to better delineate the spectrum and magnitude of risk for known teratogens.
© 2011 The Author. Congenital Anomalies © 2011 Japanese Teratology Society.