Cocaine has been implicated as a potential cause of congenital abnormalities since the mid 1980s. Clinical studies have reported an increased risk of cardiovascular and central nervous system abnormalities as well as an increased incidence of limb reduction defects and intestinal atresias. The published data have not established an unequivocal link between cocaine and these abnormalities. The most compelling evidence for the role of cocaine as a teratogen is the increased risk of genitourinary tract defects. Although animal models have also yielded contradictory conclusions, it is intriguing to note that the abnormalities observed in these models are similar to those seen clinically. This review summarizes the clinical and basic research relating to the teratogenic potential of cocaine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology