Value of the small cohort study including a physical examination for minor structural defects in identifying new human teratogens

Congenit Anom (Kyoto). 2011 Mar;51(1):16-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4520.2010.00310.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Carbamazepine / adverse effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies*
  • Female
  • Fever / complications
  • Fluoxetine / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Isoxazoles / therapeutic use
  • Leflunomide
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects
  • Neural Tube Defects / chemically induced
  • Physical Examination
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design
  • Teratogens*
  • Tretinoin / adverse effects


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Isoxazoles
  • Teratogens
  • Fluoxetine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Tretinoin
  • Leflunomide