It has been suggested that early exposure to measles virus, including perinatal exposure via maternal infection, may lead to persistent measles virus infection and the subsequent development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We sought to examine this association in our patient population. Maternal measles infection was identified through the Mayo Clinic diagnostic index, and cases were verified by chart review. Cases were included if infection occurred between the second trimester and 6 months postpartum. The offspring, or a first degree family member, were then interviewed regarding a history of IBD or symptoms which might suggest IBD. Seven cases of maternal infection were identified out of 67,912 pregnancies between 1935 and 1985. One offspring was lost to follow-up through adoption, and the remaining six have no evidence of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis after a mean of 38 years of follow-up (range 12-62 years). Evidence for an association between perinatal exposure to measles virus via maternal infection and the subsequent development of IBD was not found in our patient population.