Congenital rubella syndrome
Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) can occur in a developing fetus of a pregnant woman who has contracted rubella, usually in the first trimester. If infection occurs 0–28 days before conception, the infant has a 43% risk of being affected. If the infection occurs 0–12 weeks after conception, the risk increases to 81%. If the infection occurs 13–26 weeks after conception, the risk is 54% of the infant being affected by the disease. Infants are not generally affected if rubella is contracted during the third trimester, or 26–40 weeks after conception. Problems rarely occur when rubella is contracted by the mother after 20 weeks of gestation and continues to disseminate the virus after birth.
|Congenital rubella syndrome|
|White pupils due to congenital cataracts in a child with congenital rubella syndrome|
It was discovered in 1941 by Australian Norman McAlister Gregg.
Signs and symptoms
- Sensorineural deafness (58% of patients)
- Eye abnormalities—especially retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma, and microphthalmia (43% of patients)
- Congenital heart disease—especially pulmonary artery stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus (50% of patients)
Other manifestations of CRS may include:
- Spleen, liver, or bone marrow problems (some of which may disappear shortly after birth)
- Intellectual disability
- Small head size (microcephaly)
- Eye defects
- Low birth weight
- Thrombocytopenic purpura
- Extramedullary hematopoiesis (presents as a characteristic blueberry muffin rash)
- Enlarged liver
- Small jaw size
- Skin Lesions
Children who have been exposed to rubella in the womb should also be watched closely as they age for any indication of:
Vaccinating the majority of the population is effective at preventing congenital rubella syndrome. For females who plan on pregnancy, the MMR (measles mumps, rubella) vaccination is highly recommend, at least 28 days prior to conception. If already pregnant, vaccination is strictly prohibited as the vaccine contains a live version of the virus.
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