Rheumatic fever during infancy is uncommon, and its occurrence during the newborn period is rare. Gibson,1 in his chapter "Rheumatic Fever and Chorea," in Brennemann's "Practice of Pediatrics," did not mention it. Wilson2 has expressed the belief that reports of intrauterine rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are not conclusive. In her clinic, the youngest patient observed for whom the diagnosis of rheumatic fever was confirmed by autopsy was 15 months old. Discussions in recent textbooks likewise attest to the extreme infrequency of this condition. Thus, Holt and Howland3 stated:
Rheumatic endocarditis has been reported in newly born infants whose mothers were suffering from active rheumatic fever at the time of birth. Such an event, if it occurs, must be extremely rare; as far as we are aware these cases have not been subjected to critical pathological studies.
Reports in the early pediatric literature concerning rheumatism in the
DENENHOLZ EJ, RAMBAR AC. RHEUMATIC FEVER IN A NEWBORN INFANT. Am J Dis Child. 1941;61(5):1044-1050. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000110132013