Pediatric Rubella in Emergency Medicine Workup

Updated: May 03, 2017
  • Author: Pamela L Dyne, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • The diagnosis of rubella is clinical, though seroconversion in response to rubella antigens may confirm it.
    • Antibodies are often present shortly after the rash appears and increase in titer during the next 2-3 weeks.
    • Elevated levels of immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies are particularly helpful findings in newborns. IgM antibodies do not cross the placenta and indicate a recent infection acquired after birth.
  • The rubella virus can potentially be isolated from a throat culture during the acute phase of illness, but this technique is not a practical way to establish the diagnosis.