Intra-uterine rheumatic fever is so rare that it is considered a historical curiosity,1 and Abbott,2 though she was of the opinion that rheumatic endocarditis might be transmitted from the mother to the embryo, mentioned that up to the present time there is no direct proof. In 1882, Pocock3 described a case of rheumatic fever in a new-born, premature infant, whose mother was suffering from the same infection at the time of delivery. Thirty hours after birth the infant disclosed symptoms which led to a prompt diagnosis and treatment with sodium salicylate. The child recovered, and mention is made that there was no detectable damage to the heart.
In the case reported by Schaefer,4 in 1886, the mother had rheumatic fever five days prior to delivery. When the child was 3 days old, it also had rheumatic fever which persisted for two months and followed a typical