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Congenital rubella syndrome: Management, outcome, and prevention

Simon R Dobson, MD, FRCP(C)
Section Editors
Morven S Edwards, MD
Leonard E Weisman, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


The management, outcome, and prevention of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) will be discussed here. The epidemiology of rubella infection, risk of rubella-associated congenital defects, and the clinical features and diagnosis of congenital rubella infection are discussed separately. (See "Rubella" and "Rubella in pregnancy" and "Congenital rubella syndrome: Clinical features and diagnosis".)


Congenital rubella infection – Congenital rubella infection (CRI) encompasses all outcomes associated with intrauterine rubella infection (ie, miscarriage, stillbirth, combinations of birth defects, asymptomatic infection) [1].

Congenital rubella syndrome – CRS refers to variable constellations of birth defects (eg, hearing impairment, congenital heart defects, cataracts/congenital glaucoma, pigmentary retinopathy, etc) (table 1) [1].


The clinical course of intrauterine rubella infection is not altered by treatment with antiviral or biologic agents [2-5], nor do these agents appear to have any long-term effect on the duration of viral shedding.


Supportive care and surveillance and are the cornerstones of management for CRS. Specific treatment depends upon the clinical manifestations, which may develop or progress over time (table 2). (See "Congenital rubella syndrome: Clinical features and diagnosis", section on 'Clinical features'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 19, 2016.
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