High vitamin A intake in early pregnancy and major malformations: A multicenter prospective controlled study

P. Mastroiacovo, T. Mazzone, A. Addis, E. Elephant, P. Carlier, T. Vial, H. Garbis, E. Robert, M. Bonati, A. Ornoy, A. Finardi, C. Schaffer, L. Caramelli, E. Rodríguez-Pinilla, M. Clementi

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61 Scopus citations


The European Network of the Teratology Information Services (ENTIS) collected and evaluated data on 423 pregnancies exposed during the first 9 weeks of gestation to a 'high' dose of vitamin A (10,000 IU per day or more). Data were collected prospectively; 394 women (93.1%) were followed by telephone interview up to the first few weeks after the expected date of delivery, using standardized procedures. The presence of major structural malformations, excluding chromosomal and genetic diseases, was evaluated in 311 infants exposed to a median daily dose of vitamin A of 50,000 IU per day (range, 10,000-300,000 IU per day; interquartile range, 25,000-60,000 IU per day). Three infants with a major malformation were reported: pulmonary stenosis, stenotic anus with fistula, and bilateral inguinal hernia. No congenital malformations were reported among 120 infants exposed to more than 50,000 IU per day of vitamin A. When the birth prevalence rate of major malformations in the study group was compared with two internal control groups of infants exposed to: 1) 'high' vitamin A exposure later in pregnancy, and 2) nonteratogenic agent exposures, the rate ratio was, respectively, 0.28 (CI 95% interval, 0.06, 1.23) and 0.50 (CI 95% interval, 0.14, 1.76). The studied sample did not provide evidence for an increased risk of major malformations, associated with 'high' vitamin A intake during the organogenetic period, higher than 2.76 above the control reference risk of 1.91% (power 80%, alpha 0.10).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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