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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2016 Jul;36(5):563-6. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2015.1127905. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Congenital varicella syndrome: A systematic review.

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a Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine , Seoul , South Korea .
b Department of Paediatrics , Korea University College of Medicine , Seoul , South Korea , and.
c Clinical Research Centre , Asan Medical Centre , Seoul , South Korea.


Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a teratogen that can cross the placenta and cause the congenital varicella syndrome (CVS), which is characterised by multi-system anomalies. There have been 130 reported cases of CVS from 1947 to 2013. The estimated incidence of CVS was 0.59% and 0.84% for women infected with VZV during the entire pregnancy and for those infected the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, respectively. Nine cases were reported at 21-27 weeks of gestation and one case was identified at 36 weeks. Herpes zoster caused CVS in two cases. Regarding treatment, varicella zoster immunoglobulin treatment, irrespective of gestational age, should be considered in addition to antiviral drugs for women who have been exposed to or infected with virus.


Chickenpox; congenital varicella syndrome; herpes zoster; pregnancy

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