Congenital rubella syndrome natural history

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Congenital rubella syndrome can cause serious birth defects and the prognosis depends on the severity of the problem. Heart defects can be corrected but neurological damage is permanent.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Natural History

If malformations associated with congenital rubella syndrome are not addressed, infants may end-up blind, deaf, and with severe mental deficits.


Maternal infection with rubella early in pregnancy can result in severe consequences on the fetus, which include spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, IUGR, and congenital rubella syndrome.[7] Complications of congenital rubella syndrome itself include several birth defects, which can result in early and late complications.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Early Complications

Organ System Involved Complication

Late Complications

Organ System Involved Complication
HEENT Glaucoma
Neurological/ Psychiatric


The prognosis of congenital rubella syndrome depends on the severity of cardiac and neurological malformations. It is estimated that congenital rubella syndrome has a mortality rate of 20%.[8] In addition, congenital rubella syndrome is associated with various long-term complications[1][2][3][4][5][6], which affect the quality of life of individuals.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 De Santis M, Cavaliere AF, Straface G, Caruso A (2006). "Rubella infection in pregnancy". Reprod. Toxicol. 21 (4): 390–8. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2005.01.014. PMID 16580940.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lambert N, Strebel P, Orenstein W, Icenogle J, Poland GA (2015). "Rubella". Lancet. 385 (9984): 2297–307. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60539-0. PMC 4514442. PMID 25576992.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Webster WS (1998). "Teratogen update: congenital rubella". Teratology. 58 (1): 13–23. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-9926(199807)58:1<13::AID-TERA5>3.0.CO;2-2. PMID 9699240.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Neu N, Duchon J, Zachariah P (2015). "TORCH infections". Clin Perinatol. 42 (1): 77–103, viii. doi:10.1016/j.clp.2014.11.001. PMID 25677998.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ajij M, Nangia S, Dubey BS (2014). "Congenital rubella syndrome with blueberry muffin lesions and extensive metaphysitis". J Clin Diagn Res. 8 (12): PD03–4. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2014/10271.5293. PMC 4316306. PMID 25654000.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bouthry E, Picone O, Hamdi G, Grangeot-Keros L, Ayoubi JM, Vauloup-Fellous C (2014). "Rubella and pregnancy: diagnosis, management and outcomes". Prenat. Diagn. 34 (13): 1246–53. doi:10.1002/pd.4467. PMID 25066688.
  7. Silasi M, Cardenas I, Kwon JY, Racicot K, Aldo P, Mor G (2015). "Viral infections during pregnancy". Am. J. Reprod. Immunol. 73 (3): 199–213. doi:10.1111/aji.12355. PMC 4610031. PMID 25582523.
  8. GREGG NM (1947). "Congenital defects associated with maternal rubella". Aust Hosp. 14 (11): 7–9. PMID 18914301.

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