Cyclophosphamide (CP) is an alkylating agent widely used in treating cancer and autoimmune disease. CP is classified as a pregnancy risk factor D drug and is teratogenic in animals, but population studies have not conclusively demonstrated teratogenicity in humans. Six isolated reports of prenatally exposed infants with various congenital anomalies exist, but to date no specific phenotype has been delineated. The purpose of this report is to document a new case of in utero CP exposure with multiple congenital anomalies and to establish an apparent CP embryopathy phenotype. The mother had systemic lupus erythematosus and cyclophosphamide exposure in the first trimester. She also took nifedipine, atenolol, clonidine, prednisone, aspirin, and potassium chloride throughout pregnancy. The infant had growth retardation and multiple anomalies including microbrachycephaly, coronal craniosynostosis, hypotelorism, shallow orbits, proptosis, blepharophimosis, small, abnormal ears, unilateral preauricular pit, broad, flat nasal bridge, microstomia, high-arched palate, micrognathia, preaxial upper limb and postaxial lower limb defects consisting of hypoplastic thumbs, and bilateral absence of the 4th and 5th toes. Chromosomes were apparently normal. The reported cases of in utero exposure to cyclosposphamide shared the following manifestations with our patient: growth deficiency, developmental delay, craniosynostosis, blepharophimosis, flat nasal bridge, abnormal ears, and distal limb defects including hypoplastic thumbs and oligodactyly. We conclude that (a) cyclophosphamide is a human teratogen, (b) a distinct phenotype exists, and (c) the safety of CP in pregnancy is in serious question.
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View details for PubMedID 10482872