Limb-body wall complex is a complicated fetal malformation with the essential features of body wall disruption and limb abnormalities. Data from studies in the rat model suggest that vascular disruption is an etiology for limb-body wall complex. Because of its vasospastic properties, cocaine can act as a teratogen by impairing uteroplacental fetal blood flow during critical periods of development. We describe the prenatal detection of two fetuses with limb-body wall complex, whose mothers smoked large amounts of cocaine during the first trimester of pregnancy. Ultrasonographic evaluation of the fetus should be offered routinely in pregnancies complicated by maternal cocaine abuse.
© 1992 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists