(HealthDay News) — Topical retinoid exposure is not significantly associated with an increased risk of major congenital malformations, spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, or prematurity, according to a review published online July 26 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Yusef Cem Kaplan, M.D., from The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine whether topical retinoid exposure is associated with an increase in the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. The authors performed a meta-analysis including 654 pregnant women exposed to topical retinoids and 1,375 unexposed controls.

The researchers found that there were no significant increases in the rates of major congenital malformations (odds ratio [OR], 1.22; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.65 to 2.29), spontaneous abortion (OR, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.64 to 1.63), stillbirth (OR, 2.06; 95 percent CI, 0.43 to 9.86), elective termination of pregnancy (OR, 1.89; 95 percent CI, 0.52 to 6.8), low birth weight (OR, 1.01; 95 percent CI, 0.31 to 3.27), or prematurity (OR, 0.69; 95 percent CI, 0.39 to 1.23). Among studies for the evaluated outcomes, there was no significant heterogeneity.

“This result may be primarily used in reassuring women who were inadvertently exposed to topical retinoids during their pregnancy,” the authors write. “However, the statistical power is not adequate to justify the use of topical retinoids during pregnancy.”

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