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Saudi Med J. 2005 May;26(5):869-71.

Congenital varicella-zoster virus infection. A rare case of severe brain and ocular malformations without limb or cutaneous involvement in a newborn after maternal subclinical infection.

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  • 1Department of Neonatology Al-Yamamah Hospital, PO Box 106208, Riyadh 11666, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Although congenital varicella-zoster virus VZV infection is rare, it carries serious morbidity and mortality to the fetus and newborn infant. We report a full term female newborn infant, born to a multipara unbooked mother who had VZV subclinical infection during the first trimester of pregnancy. Routine newborn examination showed cystic malformation of the left eye, and absence of the right eye globe. Radiological work up revealed severe brain and eye malformations, serological studies of both mother and baby were positive for VZV. The baby underwent palliative surgery to the eyes, upon discharge, a plan of multidisciplinary team was made for follow up including neurologist, ophthalmologist, pediatrician and social worker. Congenital VZV infection can be severe enough to cause catastrophic fetal anomalies and damage to the vital organs as many of those infants die in infancy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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