Design of Developmental Toxicity Studies for Assessing Joint Effects of Dose and Duration

Daniel O. Scharfstein, Paige L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the assessment of developmental and reproductive effects, the timing and duration of exposures to chemical compounds or other environmental contaminants are of particular interest, as the gestational cycle is known to have periods of increased sensitivity. The goal of this research is to identify optimal experimental designs for conducting developmental toxicity studies when the effects of both exposure level and duration of exposure are of interest. The elements of the study design considered in this evaluation are the allocation of animals to dose‐duration exposure groups and the determination of the most efficient intermediate exposure levels. The optimality of various designs is assessed via the accuracy of the estimated excess risk as well as testing criteria. Simulation studies are conducted to compare these criteria and determine optimal design strategies under various underlying dose‐response patterns. Asymptotic results are also derived to lend support to the simulation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1071
Number of pages15
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Benchmark dose
  • Haber's law
  • developmental toxicity
  • dose‐rate models
  • experimental design
  • risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physiology (medical)

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