Anhydramnios, Intrauterine Growth Restriction and Echinacea angustifolia Intake: A Case Report

Laura Cuzzolin, Marco Ioppi, Marina Zorzi, Giuseppina Benoni


A preterm newborn developed anhydramnios and intrauterine growth restriction after maternal Echinacea angustifolia intake during pregnancy. A 34-year-old primigravida woman was admitted to the hospital for an emergency caesarean delivery at 35 weeks gestation due to anhydramnios and intrauterine growth restriction. Maternal laboratory parameters were all within normal limits, while the histological examination revealed several placental infarctions. Before and during her pregnancy, she was not affected by a chronic disease and had no complication or problem requiring a drug treatment. At her booking visit at 27 week gestation, clinical examination was unremarkable. Thereafter, she suffered for a fastidious common cold that she successfully treated with a product containing Echinacea angustifolia (one tablet every day for 7 weeks). The newborn (birth weight 1,330 g) did not show serious complications. In this report the development of anhydramnios and intrauterine growth restriction in a preterm newborn after the 27th week of gestation could be well correlated with impaired maternal and foetal blood flows. On the light of a physiological pregnancy where diseases, drug treatments or other risk factors were absent, the only event that could have presumably influenced placental blood flow is a regular maternal consumption (every day for about two months) of an herbal product containing Echinacea angustifolia, given its potential effects on foetal angiogenesis. Even if it is difficult to demonstrate a clear relationship between Echinacea intake and intrauterine growth restriction observed in our preterm infant, a prolonged use of this herb during pregnancy should be avoided also on the light of the paucity of available data in this area.

J Med Cases. 2013;4(4):262-265



Echinacea; Anhydramnios; Intrauterine growth restriction

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