Congenital TORCH infections: Pathology review

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Congenital TORCH infections: Pathology review

Reproductive system

Male and female reproductive system disorders

Precocious puberty

Delayed puberty

Klinefelter syndrome

Turner syndrome

Androgen insensitivity syndrome

5-alpha-reductase deficiency

Kallmann syndrome

Male reproductive system disorders

Hypospadias and epispadias

Bladder exstrophy


Penile cancer


Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Prostate cancer


Inguinal hernia




Testicular torsion

Testicular cancer

Erectile dysfunction

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Female reproductive system disorders


Ovarian cyst

Premature ovarian failure

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Ovarian torsion

Krukenberg tumor

Sex cord-gonadal stromal tumor

Surface epithelial-stromal tumor

Germ cell ovarian tumor

Uterine fibroid



Endometrial hyperplasia

Endometrial cancer


Cervical cancer

Pelvic inflammatory disease


Female sexual interest and arousal disorder

Orgasmic dysfunction

Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder


Fibrocystic breast changes

Intraductal papilloma

Phyllodes tumor

Paget disease of the breast

Breast cancer

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Gestational hypertension

Preeclampsia & eclampsia

Gestational diabetes

Cervical incompetence

Placenta previa

Placenta accreta

Placental abruption



Potter sequence

Intrauterine growth restriction

Preterm labor

Postpartum hemorrhage


Congenital toxoplasmosis

Congenital cytomegalovirus (NORD)

Congenital syphilis

Neonatal conjunctivitis

Neonatal herpes simplex

Congenital rubella syndrome

Neonatal sepsis

Neonatal meningitis


Gestational trophoblastic disease

Ectopic pregnancy

Fetal hydantoin syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Reproductive system pathology review

Disorders of sex chromosomes: Pathology review

Prostate disorders and cancer: Pathology review

Testicular tumors: Pathology review

Uterine disorders: Pathology review

Ovarian cysts and tumors: Pathology review

Cervical cancer: Pathology review

Vaginal and vulvar disorders: Pathology review

Benign breast conditions: Pathology review

Breast cancer: Pathology review

Complications during pregnancy: Pathology review

Congenital TORCH infections: Pathology review

Disorders of sexual development and sex hormones: Pathology review

Amenorrhea: Pathology Review

Testicular and scrotal conditions: Pathology review

Sexually transmitted infections: Warts and ulcers: Pathology review

Sexually transmitted infections: Vaginitis and cervicitis: Pathology review

HIV and AIDS: Pathology review

Penile conditions: Pathology review


Content Reviewers

Antonella Melani, MD


Jung Hee Lee, MScBMC

Sam Gillespie, BSc

Evan Debevec-McKenney

Maria Emfietzoglou, MD

At the clinic, two mothers came in with their babies. The first baby is an 11 month old girl called Cecile, who is brought by her parents, who are immigrants, for a routine visit. You immediately noticed that she doesn’t react when you call her name, as if she can’t hear you at all. Upon eye examination, you find that Cecile has bilateral clouding of the lens. Then, upon cardiac auscultation, you hear a continuous rumbling murmur. Upon further questioning, Cecile’s mother tells you that, during the first trimester of pregnancy, she developed a rash that mainly involved her head and neck, as well as swollen lymph nodes behind the ears.

After Cecile, comes a 6 month old baby boy named Arthur with his mother, who is concerned because Arthur has developed multiple purple marks on his skin. Upon physical examination, you noticed that Arthur has an unusually large head for his age. Then, on fundoscopy, his eyes show white and yellow scars that look like cotton. You decide to order a CT scan of the brain, which reveals scattered calcifications. Upon further questioning, Arthur’s mother admits to handling her cat’s litter while she was pregnant, despite her doctor’s advice against it.

All right, now both Cecile and Arthur seem to have a congenital TORCH infection. TORCH is an acronym that stands for infections caused by Toxoplasma gondii; Other agents, such as syphilis, parvovirus B19, varicella zoster virus, and listeria; then there’s Rubella; Cytomegalovirus, and finally Herpes simplex virus-2 or HSV-2.

All these infections are lumped together because they can be vertically transmitted, which means that a pregnant individual can transmit the infection to their child either before birth via the placenta, or during and after birth via blood, body fluids, or breast milk.

Now, keep in mind that TORCH infections may share some non-specific signs and symptoms, including delayed growth, and hepatosplenomegaly or enlarged liver and spleen, which can lead to jaundice or yellow skin, and thrombocytopenia or low platelet count. So for your exams, it’s important that you’re able to distinguish the different TORCH infections based on additional characteristics.


  1. "Robbins Basic Pathology" Elsevier (2017)
  2. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Twentieth Edition (Vol.1 & Vol.2)" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  3. "Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine 8E" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  4. "TORCH Infections" Clinics in Perinatology (2015)
  5. "TORCH (toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus) screening of small for gestational age and intrauterine growth restricted neonates: efficacy study in a single institute in Korea" Korean Journal of Pediatrics (2018)

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