Congenital Growth and Development Defects

Also known as: Developmental defects, developmental disorders, birth defects, congenital anomalies, congenital abnormalities

What are growth and development defects?

Congenital growth and developmental defects is the broad general term used to describe defects that occur as the fetus is growing within its mother’s womb. About 3-4% of babies born in the USA will have a congenital defect. The term encompasses a wide variety of clinical conditions.

What causes growth and development defects? 

Congenital defects may result from chromosomal/genetic abnormalities inherited from parents or as a result of spontaneous mutations, pregnancy problems during early pregnancy, certain diseases acquired during early pregnancy (like maternal infections- chicken pox or rubella), chronic maternal conditions (like diabetes, high blood pressure), maternal diet issues, alcohol ingestion, smoking, street drug taking, medications or environmental factors (e.g. chemicals and radiation). Sometimes no cause can be found.

What are the signs/symptoms of growth and development defects? 

 Signs/symptoms may or may not be diagnosed or seen until after birth, though blood, ultrasounds and other tests may detect the defects in the womb. Defects may occur in one or more organs or parts of the body.

What are growth and development defects care options? 

Genetic testing, long term multidisciplinary team emotional and psychosocial support for family and child and, depending on the diagnosis, medical and/or surgical treatments as needed, is available. 

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:10:58 PM

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