Serological Assessment of Rubella During PregnancyBr Med J 1970; 3 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.3.5717.247 (Published 01 August 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;3:247
- J. E. Banatvala,
- Jennifer M. Best,
- J. Bertrand,
- Narelle A. Bowern,
- Sheila M. Hudson
In 45 patients with rubella-like illnesses during pregnancy serological tests showed that the clinical diagnosis had been accurate in only 20. Since only 16 of these patients had presented for laboratory investigations within a week of the onset of symptoms, the value of haemagglutination-inhibition tests was considerably reduced; the diagnosis in these cases was confirmed by complement-fixation and rubella-specific IgM tests.
Of 172 patients exposed to a rubella-like illness, only 17 were seronegative; 105 sought advice within two weeks of exposure, and therefore the haemagglutination-inhibition antibody tests were useful in determining immunity. Since the clinical diagnosis of rubella was proved incorrect in a number of cases, these pregnancies were saved. Hence both doctors and patients should report both exposure to and rubella-like illnesses as early as possible, so that laboratory investigations may be carried out without delay.