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October 1965

Rubella Syndrome After Inapparent Maternal Illness

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia (Drs. Avery and Leikin); the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University (Drs. Avery and Sever); the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (Drs. Monif and Sever); and the Department of Pediatrics, George Washington University (Dr. Leikin). Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Dr. Avery), and Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Dr. Sever), Georgetown University; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, George Washington University (Dr. Leikin).

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(4):444-446. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030464015

SINCE the original reports by Gregg1 and Swan,2 it has been appreciated that rubella contracted during the first trimester of pregnancy can result in an infant born with malformations. It has become commonplace in evaluating deformed babies to ask about maternal illness in the first trimester—specifically rubella, with rash and fever. However, rubella may fail to show the typical rash, and may be manifested only by posterior auricular nodes, or may even be entirely subclinical.3 The cases which comprise the present report demonstrate that rubella, documented by virus isolation, can occur in the offspring of pregnancies in which no history of rubella in the mother can be elicited.

A further difficulty is evident since the recent isolation of rubella virus from infants born of pregnancies complicated by maternal rubella.4 In cases of newborns with only patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) or only cataracts, when the maternal

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