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October 9, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(2):139. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130150107024

Cardiologic responses to viral infections have assumed major clinical significance in recent years. Myocardial damage may be a prominent feature of the congenital rubella syndrome; the occurrence of these abnormalities has received widespread attention since the national rubella epidemic in the spring of 1964. It is probable that congenital rubella infection accounts for many instances of "idiopathic" heart disease found in older children, and viral cultures of all newborns will assist in determination of the frequency of such occurrences. A recent study by Burch et al1 suggests that such studies should include consideration of possible coxsackievirus infection. These investigators report that coxsackievirus B may be the cause of some forms of acute and chronic myocardial and endocardial diseases in man.

The material in this series consists of heart tissues from 55 routine autopsies. (Specimens were randomly selected from 40 young patients varying in age from stillbirth to 30 years.)