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April 1967

The Retinal Disease of Rubella

Author Affiliations

From the Eye Research Laboratories, The University of Chicago, Chicago.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(4):445-449. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020447006

AN AUSTRALIAN physician, Aileen Mitchell, was the first to note fundus changes in a child born with rubella.1 In his initial report before the Ophthalmological Society of Australia in 1941, Gregg did not mention this observation.2 Several years later, however, while reviewing his notes of case reports collected for this original paper,1 he cites the following fundus description by Dr. Mitchell from a child with a left-sided monocular cataract: "The fundus of the right eye appeared pale, and some scattered irregular spots of pigment were observed."

Rubella retinitis is now recognized as one of the three most frequent ocular abnormalities in a child with congenital rubella. The exact incidence is uncertain since eyegrounds are sometimes not visualized because of dense congenital cataracts. Reported frequencies are: 16 out of 120 cases,3 17 out of 38 cases,4 15 out of 29 cases,5 50 out of 82