The following abstracts are reprinted from the June 1968 issue of Birth Defects, The National Foundation-March of Dimes.

Agenesis Of The Sacrum And The Neurogenic Bladder. J.A.M.A. 203(7)481-486, Feb. 12, 1968.

Koontz, W.W. and Prout, G.R., Jr. (Div. Urol., Med. Coll. Va., Richmond.)

Case histories of eight children suffering from total or partial sacral agenesi illustrate the delay in diagnosis, the associated serious urological disease and its clinical features. Characteristic findings were hydronephrosis, reflux, multiple urological operations and scant extravesical neurological findings.

Because the sacral agenesis is often not diagnosed early and the severity of the lesions with associated obstruction and infection result in permanent urinary diversion roentgenographs studies of all children with unexplained vesical dysfunction should be examined to ascertain that the vertebral column is intact. (7 references.)

Birth Defects. Their Significance As A Public Health Problem. J.A.M.A. 204(5):371-374, Apr. 29, 1968.

Apgar, V. and Stickle, G. (Div. Congenital Malformations, Res. Dept., Nat. Found., New York. Reprint requests to: 800 Second Ave., New York 10017.)

A birth defect is defined as "a structural or metabolic disorder present at birth, whether genetically determined or a result of environmental influence during embryonic or fetal life." Approximately 500,000 fetal deaths and at least 62,000 deaths of live-born children are associated with birth defects yearly. Approximately 15 million Americans have one or more congenital defects affecting their daily lives and these defects may appear any time from birth to later than 60 years. Detailed and current state and national registrations of congenitally handicapped children would greatly assist in the definition of the scope of the problem. The recording on birth certificates of detectable defects should be more intensive and uniform and reliable teaching of human genetics in medical schools with exemplary recording of family histories by the attending physicians would greatly improve the reporting. The trend of incidence and prevalence of defects could then be carefully analyzed. Reporting of the major defects whenever discovered should be mandatory. (44 references.)

A Swedish Register Of Congenital Malformations. Experience With Continuous Registration During 2 Years With Special Reference To Multiple Malformations.

Kallen, B. and Winberg, J. (Dept. Embryol., Univ. Lund, Biskopsgatan 7, Lund, Sweden.)

A system of continuous registration of congenital malformations was devised to serve as an early warning for the presence of new teratogen in the environment. The malformations present in the newborn during the neonatal period are reported by a verbal diagnosis monthly to the registry and these reports are scrutinized continuously. The details and the results of this registry for the period from April 1, 1964 to June 30, 1966 are given and discussed. The method was tested with the data available from the thalidomide period and the results indicate that the epidemic would have been identified within five months of the appearance of the first thalidomide embryopathies had the registry been in existence. This is based on the fact that the number of cases of a malformation necessary to indicate a significant increase can be calculated from the known frequency of the malformation (12 references.)