Cord Serum Bromide Concentration: Variation and Lack of Association with Pregnancy Outcome

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Excessive maternal bromide exposure during pregnancy from drugs and occupation have been reported to have adverse effects on the fetus and newborn, including central nervous system depression at birth and possible teratogenicity. To define further the fetal bromide exposure during pregnancy, we determined the cord serum bromide concentration in 1267 newborn babies born in Rochester, New York, during the 6-month period from January 1, 1984 to June 30, 1984. There was a normal distribution of the cord serum bromide concentration values ( range 3.1 to 28.5 mg/L). The highest concentration was still significantly below the minimal bromide concentration associated with toxic effects (720 mg/L). There was no association between the cord serum bromide concentration and indices of fetal health including Apgar scores, presence of congenital malformations, and neonatal disposition. No mothers were taking significant amounts of bromide-containing drugs during pregnancy. The second highest cord serum bromide concentration (21.4 mg/L) was in a woman who was an amateur photographer and developed her own film, which required her to use chemicals containing bromide. Our results indicate that excessive fetal bromide exposure is rare and probably occurs only in the setting of maternal use of bromide-containing drugs or occupational exposure during pregnancy.



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