Congenital Cytomegalovirus and Deafness Although the incidence of medical and neurological problems resulting from congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is relatively low, the widespread and indiscriminate nature of this infection and the severity of these conditions when they do occur are such that it warrants the close attention of medical specialists, audiologists, and educators. The ... Short Course
Short Course  |   July 01, 1994
Congenital Cytomegalovirus and Deafness
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Arthur N. Schildroth, MA
    Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Short Courses
Short Course   |   July 01, 1994
Congenital Cytomegalovirus and Deafness
American Journal of Audiology, July 1994, Vol. 3, 27-38. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0302.27
History: Received March 18, 1993 , Accepted December 15, 1993
 
American Journal of Audiology, July 1994, Vol. 3, 27-38. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0302.27
History: Received March 18, 1993; Accepted December 15, 1993

Although the incidence of medical and neurological problems resulting from congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is relatively low, the widespread and indiscriminate nature of this infection and the severity of these conditions when they do occur are such that it warrants the close attention of medical specialists, audiologists, and educators. The identification of congenital CMV is especially difficult because of its largely nonsymptomatic character, and because conditions associated with it, including hearing impairment, can be either progressive in nature or occur only later in life. Data reviewed in this study resemble those reported for children with impaired hearing from the 1964–65 maternal rubella epidemic: hearing loss in the severe to profound range, often accompanied by serious additional disabilities, especially mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Depressed achievement test results of children with CMV-induced hearing loss are further indications of the serious nature of this disease.

The presence of any symptoms of CMV infection in infants or of risk factors associated with it—e.g., purplish skin rash, severe asphyxia, jaundice, low birth weight, swollen lymph glands, and other mononucleosis-like symptoms—signals the need for immediate testing, including audiological evaluation, and, if results are positive, the initiation of early medical and educational intervention.

Acknowledgments
The author wishes to thank the Biomedical Research Institute at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, especially June Eckhardt, for sharing the resources of their medical library. The Institute is a center for research in congenital CMV infection, including the development of a vaccine, and provides clinical assessment, education, and family support for parents and professionals interested in this viral infection.
The author also wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, especially John A. Stewart, for prompt responses to several requests for publications on the disease.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access