Congenital Dandy Walker malformation associated with first trimester warfarin: a case report and literature review

Teratology. 1985 Dec;32(3):333-7. doi: 10.1002/tera.1420320302.


While the warfarin embryopathy is well defined, central nervous system abnormalities associated with gestational warfarin exposure require further definition. Based on the timing of warfarin exposure in humans, it has been proposed that second- and third-trimester exposure predisposes to CNS abnormalities while first-trimester exposure more typically is associated with the warfarin embryopathy. A case is presented of a liveborn male with Dandy Walker malformation, agenesis of the corpus callosum, and Peter anomaly of the right eye who was exposed to warfarin between the 8th and 12th weeks of gestation who had none of the stigmata of the warfarin embryopathy. His is the first known case of exposure confined to the first trimester, and the fifth case of Dandy Walker malformation among a total of 15 CNS cases associated with this drug. This case offers evidence that Dandy Walker malformation may represent a distinct complication of in utero first-trimester exposure, and consideration of these particular abnormalities with exposure limited to a period prior to the known appearance of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors suggests that warfarin has a direct teratogenic effect on central nervous system morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / chemically induced*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / drug effects*
  • Warfarin / adverse effects*


  • Warfarin