Diethylstilbestrol: risks of malignant disease and congenital malformations

US National Library of Medicine, Canadian Medical Association, 1979

image of malignant-disease
DiEthylStilbestrol usage review buttress the need for adequate and rigorous research into the use of drugs in pregnancy and ensure that they do more good than harm before being introduced for consumption.

1979 Study Abstract

In 1951 a prospective double-blind study was begun at the University of Chicago to evaluate the usefulness of diethylstilbestrol in the protection of pregnancy. The women involved, the controls and all the offspring are being carefully followed up. Preliminary long-term follow-up data, collected to the end of 1977, have been reviewed by a task force of the Department of National Health and Welfare’s special advisory committee on reproductive physiology.

The Chicago study and others have demonstrated that the female offspring of women given diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy are at an increased risk for a variety of benign abnormalities of the genital tract. In addition, the very infrequent occurrence of carcinoma of the vagina or cervix in such individuals is well documented.

It is now also evident that prenatal exposure of males to diethylstilbestrol is associated with a low frequency of various detectable anatomic and functional changes in the reproductive tract. The abnormalities observed include epididymal cysts, hypoplastic testes, induration of the testicular capsule, and some impairment of spermatogenesis, sperm maturation and accessory gland secretion; malignant lesions have not been reported.

Sources and more information
  • Diethylstilbestrol: risks of malignant disease and congenital malformations, Canadian Medical Association, NCBI PMCID: PMC1704227, 1979 Jun 23.
  • Full text PDF, CMA JOURNAL/JUNE 23, 1979/VOL. 120.
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