Visceral anomalies in prenatally adriamycin-exposed rat fetuses: a model for the VATER association

Pediatr Surg Int. 1999;15(1):11-6. doi: 10.1007/s003830050501.


Adriamycin is teratogenic if given to pregnant rats. A wide range of anomalies involving the gastrointestinal, renal, and cardiovascular systems has been described, similar to the VATER association, yet it is not known if they are identical to the human pattern. The aim of this study was to document the visceral anomalies in rat fetuses exposed to adriamycin and to determine their similarities with the congenital defects in humans with the VATER association. The results revealed a spectrum of very similar anomalies. Furthermore, the characteristics of the tracheo-oesophageal anomalies had a lot of features in common with the human pattern. We conclude that the adriamycin-treated fetal rat is an excellent model for studying the VATER association.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / embryology*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / chemically induced*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / embryology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Doxorubicin / toxicity*
  • Esophagus / abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Teratogens / toxicity*
  • Trachea / abnormalities*


  • Teratogens
  • Doxorubicin