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May 1969

Asymptomatic Maternal Rubella and Congenital Deafness

Author Affiliations

Burlington, Vt
From the Division of Otolaryngology, University of Vermont, DeGoesbriand Memorial Hospital, Burlington, Vt.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(5):720-726. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020722010

OVER THE past two decades investigators from different parts of the world have reported that 30% to 40% of sensorineural congenital deafness is inexplicable in the light of modern knowledge. Congenital deafness is recognized as one of the more common sequelae of clinical first trimester maternal rubella, but investigators have largely ignored the part played by subclinical maternal infection. The object of this paper is to discuss the role of subclinical or asymptomatic maternal rubella in the etiology of congenital sensorineural deafness.

This investigation was carried out in the island of Trinidad in the West Indies in early 1966 and is confined to children with severe sensorineural hearing loss, and does not include any child with evidence of middle ear disease. The study is based upon 139 children, 10 years old and younger, who are congenitally deaf. All of these children were examined personally by me and all of their

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