Journal article Open Access

An update on cardiovascular malformations in congenital rubella syndrome

Oster, Matthew E.; Riehle-Colarusso, Tiffany; Correa, Adolfo

BACKGROUND: Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) has long been characterized by the triad of deafness, cataract, and cardiovascular malformations (CVMs). While initial reports identified patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) as the primary CVM in CRS, the exact nature of the CVMs found in CRS has not been well established. METHODS: We searched the English literature from 1941 through 2008 to identify studies that used cardiac catheterization or echocardiography to evaluate the CVMs in CRS. RESULTS: Of the 121 patients in the 10 studies with catheterization data, 78% had branch pulmonary artery stenosis, and 62% had a PDA. In 49% of cases, both branch pulmonary artery stenosis and PDA were present, whereas isolated branch pulmonary artery stenosis and isolated PDA were found in 29 and 13% of cases, respectively. Of the 12 patients in the 10 studies with echocardiographic data, PDA was more common than branch pulmonary artery stenosis, but this finding is greatly limited by the small numbers of patients and limitations of echocardiography. Although published studies of CVMs in CRS have in general reported PDA as the CVM phenotype most commonly associated with CRS, among CRS cases evaluated by catheterization, branch pulmonary artery stenosis was actually more common than PDA. Moreover, although the combination of branch pulmonary artery stenosis and PDA was more common than either branch pulmonary artery stenosis or PDA alone, isolated branch pulmonary artery stenosis was twice as common as isolated PDA. CONCLUSION: Among children with suspected CRS, clinical evaluations for the presence of CVMs should include examinations for both branch pulmonary artery stenosis and PDA. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2010.

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