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Keywords:

  • caffeine;
  • fetal rat heart;
  • teratogenic effect

Abstract

At various gestational periods, caffeine was injected intra-artcrially or intraperitonc-ally into pregnant rats. The teratogenic effects of caffeine on the fetal heart were dose dependent and detectable at relatively low concentrations. The most susceptible stage was during septation of the heart. The most common cardiovascular malformation was ventricular septal defect. Extracardiovascular anomalies, such as decreased thymic weight and degeneration of the lens, were found in all fetuses; skeletal malformations were found in some fetuses.