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Mazze RI, Wilson AI, Rice SA, Baden JM. 
“Reproduction and fetal development in rats exposed to nitrous oxide”. 
Teratology. 1984 Dec 20;30(2):259-65.
The effects of 24 hours of nitrous oxide exposure on reproductive indices and fetal development were examined in Sprague-Dawley rats. Four different experiments employing four concentrations of nitrous oxide--0.75%, 7.5%, 25% and 75%--established that the threshold of toxicity was greater than 25%. At 75% nitrous oxide there was a significant increase in early and late resorptions, and a consistent teratogenic effect (e.g., runts, ocular malformations, limb deformities). Neither the stress of shipping dams while pregnant nor the withholding of food during nitrous oxide exposure resulted in additional adverse effects. Exposure to 25% nitrous oxide was associated with increased deoxyuridine suppression values; however, adverse reproductive effects were not seen at this nitrous oxide concentration. The results of this and other studies which have examined the reproductive and teratogenic effects of nitrous oxide do not contraindicate its use in operating rooms nor, when necessary, as an anesthetic for pregnant surgical patients.
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