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Birthweight and subsequent growth of children exposed to rubella infection in utero
  1. H. Lejarraga,
  2. Catherine S. Peckham

    Abstract

    Birthweight, and head circumference and body weight at preschool age were studied in a group of 212 children exposed to maternal rubella infection. Birthweights were compared to standards for birthweights of British children according to gestational age and birth rank. Children with detectable rubella antibody at the time of the examination were regarded as seropositive and those with no detectable antibody as seronegative. It was shown that the mean birthweight of seronegative and seropositive children without rubella defects did not differ significantly from the 50th centile or from each other, but that those who were seropositive with defects had significantly lower birthweights. Head circumference and body weight were similarly compared to current British standards. Head circumference at follow-up was normal in seronegative and seropositive children without defects, but significantly low in seropositive children with defects, even if retinopathy was the sole defect. The findings for body weight at follow-up were similar, reflecting absence of catch-up growth in weight in the children with congenital rubella defects.

    This study has shown that intrauterine growth retardation does not present as the sole manifestation of maldevelopment in congenital rubella.

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