Congenital rubella syndrome


Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) can occur in a developing fetus of a pregnant woman who has contracted rubella, usually in the first trimester.

If infection occurs 0–28 days before conception, the infant has a 43% risk of being affected.

If the infection occurs 0–12 weeks after conception, the risk increases to 81%.

If the infection occurs 13–26 weeks after conception, the risk is 54% of the infant being affected by the disease.

Infants are not generally affected if rubella is contracted during the third trimester, or 26–40 weeks after conception.

The classic triad for congenital rubella syndrome is:

Sensorineural deafness in 58% of patients.

Eye abnormalities—retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma, and microphthalmia in 43% of patients.

Congenital heart disease—pulmonary artery stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus in 50% of patients.

Other manifestations of CRS may include:

Spleen, liver, or bone marrow problems.

Intellectual disability


Eye defects

Low birth weight

Thrombocytopenic purpura

Extramedullary hematopoiesis



Skin Lesions

Children exposed to rubella are observed for:

Developmental delay



Growth retardation

Learning disabilities

Diabetes mellitus

Vaccinating is effective at preventing congenital rubella syndrome.

For females who plan on pregnancy, the MMR vaccination is highly recommend, at least 28 days prior to conception.

If already pregnant, vaccination is strictly prohibited as the vaccine contains a live version of the virus.

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