The Utility of Maternal TORCH Screening Due to Obstetrical Indications in Detecting Congenital Infections: A Retrospective Observational Study

Raneen Abu Shqara, Shany Or, Abdallah Abu Zraki, Jeries Rizik, Daniel Glikman, Hagai Rechnitzer, Lior Lowenstein, Maya Frank Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The diagnostic yield of TORCH screening for obstetrical indications is unclear. We evaluated TORCH testing results among women with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), polyhydramnios and oligohydramnios; and associations with congenital infections in neonates. Method: This retrospective single-center study included all the women diagnosed with IUGR, polyhydramnios or oligohydramnios who underwent serological TORCH testing during 2010-2019. TORCH screening included Toxoplasma, cytomegalovirus (CMV), rubella IgM and IgG. The data, which were cross-referenced with data of neonates with congenital TORCH infections during the same period, included indications for neonatal testing, sonographic findings and neonatal ophthalmologic and hearing findings. Result: Six women of 771 (0.8%) were diagnosed with primary TORCH infection: 4 (0.5%) with toxoplasmosis, and 2 (0.3%) with CMV. None had a confirmed congenital infection. The rates of positive maternal TORCH screening in IUGR and polyhydramnios were 2.1% and 0.6%, respectively. Maternal TORCH infection was not identified in any woman with oligohydramnios or severe polyhydramnios. None of the neonates with congenital infection were screened for TORCH during pregnancy due to polyhydramnios, oligohydramnios or IUGR. Among the neonates with congenital CMV, the most common indication for performing neonatal CMV polymerase chain reaction was suspected primary maternal infection during pregnancy due to symptomatic CMV. No incidences of congenital rubella were noted in the last decade in our medical center. Conclusion: Our results suggest that routine TORCH screening in pregnancies complicated with IUGR, polyhydramnios or oligohydramnios should be avoided. Suggestive maternal symptoms and specific fetal sonographic features should prompt testing for CMV and Toxoplasma infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • IUGR
  • Oligohydramnios
  • TORCH infection
  • polyhydramnios
  • prenatal screening


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