OBJECTIVE - Case reports of suspected adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with prenatal exposure to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, particularly oligohydramnios, prolonged neonatal anuria, and defects of ossification of the skull dome, prompted us to examine pregnancy outcome in a large cohort of pregnant women for whom complete drug exposure information was known.
METHODS - We studied the prescribed drug exposure histories and pregnancy outcomes of all women aged 15-44 years enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid who delivered a live-born or stillborn infant between January 1, 1983 and December 31, 1988.
RESULTS - Of the 106,813 women enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid who delivered either a live-born or stillborn infant during the study period, 19 were exposed to an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor during pregnancy. All 19 women delivered live infants. Among the 19 newborns, one preterm infant had prolonged anuria necessitating dialysis and a second preterm infant had microcephaly and a large occipital encephalocele.
CONCLUSIONS - These outcomes represent a systematic follow-up of all angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-exposed pregnancies. Despite the small number of exposures, there were two outcomes previously linked to prenatal use of these drugs, suggesting that the absolute risk may be high. In light of these findings and the case reports of others, it is prudent to avoid the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in pregnancy.