Intrauterine growth retardation after long-term maternal salicylate administration in the rabbit

Jeffrey C. Lukas, Ted S. Rosenkrantz, John R. Raye, Patricia J. Porte, Anthony F Philipps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The effects of chronic maternal salicylism on fetal growth were studied in chronically catheterized pregnant rabbits. Graded intravenous infusions of sodium salicylate were given continuously between days 22 and 29 of gestation. Maternal plasma salicylate concentrations (mean ± SD) of 12.0 ± 1.6 mg/dl (low-dose group) or 24.1 ± 5.3 mg/dl (high-dose group) were achieved. Control rabbits were infused with saline solution. Pups were delivered by hysterotomy on day 29. Fetal/matermal salicylate concentration ratios were near unity for both infusion groups. There were significant dose-related reductions (mean ± SD) in fetal weight (control, 39.7 ± 6.7 gm; low-dose group, 34.4 ± 6.4 gm; high-dose group, 22.2 ± 7.1 gm; p < 0.001) and in crown-rump length (control, 9.7 ± 0.45 cm; low-dose group, 9.1 ± 0.68 cm; high-dose group, 7.7 ± 0.86 cm; p < 0.001). There was a significant reduction in fetal brain weight only in the high-dose group, and brain weight/fetal weight ratios were increased, suggesting relative sparing of brain growth. Liver weight was significantly reduced in both low- and high-dose groups. In contrast to results in previous animal studies, standardized intravenous maternal salicylate administration in rabbits induced a reproducible and dose-dependent asymmetrical fetal growth retardation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • fetal
  • growth
  • intrauterine growth retardation
  • maternal
  • Salicylates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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