Congenital rubella syndrome
Rubella congenital; Congenital rubella syndrome; CRS
Congenital rubella refers to the group of birth defects that occur in an infant whose mother is infected with the virus that causes German measles (rubella) during pregnancy.
- Congenital rubella occurs when the rubella virus in the mother affects the developing baby in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
- After the fourth month, if the mother has a rubella infection, it is less likely to harm the developing baby.
Pregnant women and their unborn babies are at risk if:
- They are not vaccinated for rubella
- They have not had the disease in the past
Signs and symptoms
The most common problems are hearing loss due to damage to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain (sensorineural hearing loss), ocular abnormalities (cataract, infantile glaucoma, and pigmentary retinopathy) and heart problems. Other symptoms and signs may include intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity, stillbirth, miscarriage, neurological problems (intellectual disability, low muscle tone, very small head), liver and spleen enlargement (hepatosplenomegaly), jaundice, skin problems, anemia, hormonal problems, and other issues.
For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. 80%-99% of people have these symptoms
- Cataract(Clouding of the lens of the eye)
- Intrauterine growth retardation(Prenatal growth deficiency)
- Neurological speech impairment(Speech disorder)
- Sensorineural hearing impairment
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
- Abnormality of retinal pigmentation
- Abnormality of the fontanelles or cranial sutures
- Abnormality of the pulmonary artery(Abnormality of lung artery)
- Anemia(Low number of red blood cells or hemoglobin)
- Aplasia/Hypoplasia of the iris(Absent/small iris)
- Atrial septal defect(An opening in the wall separating the top two chambers of the heart)
- Hepatomegaly(Enlarged liver)
- Intellectual disability(Mental deficiency)
- Microcephaly(Abnormally small skull)
- Microphthalmia(Abnormally small eyeball)
- Muscular hypotonia(Low or weak muscle tone)
- Nystagmus(Involuntary, rapid, rhythmic eye movements)
- Patent ductus arteriosus
- Short stature(Decreased body height)
- Skin rash
- Spastic diplegia
- Splenomegaly(Increased spleen size)
- Thrombocytopenia(Low platelet count)
- Ventricular septal defect(Hole in heart wall separating two lower heart chambers)
- Visual impairment(Impaired vision)
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
- Abnormality of the metaphysis(Abnormality of the wide portion of a long bone)
- Corneal opacity
- Jaundice(Yellow skin)
- Type I diabetes mellitus(Type 1 diabetes)
The baby's health care provider will run blood and urine tests to check for the virus.
There is no specific treatment for congenital rubella. The treatment is symptom-based.
NIH genetic and rare disease info
Congenital rubella syndrome is a rare disease.
Latest research - Congenital rubella syndrome