Long-term impairment attributable to congenital cytomegalovirus infection: a retrospective cohort study

Marjolein J Korndewal, Anne Marie Oudesluys-Murphy, Aloys C M Kroes, Marianne A B van der Sande, Hester E de Melker, Ann C T M Vossen

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


AIM: This study aimed to estimate long-term impairment attributable to congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV).

METHOD: This nationwide cohort study retrospectively assessed cCMV in children born in 2008 in the Netherlands, testing 31 484 stored neonatal dried blood spots. Extensive medical data of cCMV-positive children (n=133) and matched cCMV-negative comparison children (n=274) up to 6 years of age were analysed.

RESULTS: Moderate to severe long-term impairment was diagnosed in 24.8% (33 out of 133) of all cCMV-positive children (53.8% in symptomatic, 17.8% in asymptomatic), compared with 12.0% (33 out of 274) of cCMV-negative children. Sensorineural hearing loss was seen only in five cCMV-positive children (3.8%). Developmental delays were diagnosed more often in cCMV-positive children than cCMV-negative children: motor (12.0% vs 1.5%), cognitive (6.0% vs 1.1%), and speech-language (16.5% vs 7.3%). Long-term impairment in multiple domains was more frequent in symptomatic (19.2%) and asymptomatic (8.4%) cCMV-positive children than cCMV-negative children (1.8%).

INTERPRETATION: Children with cCMV were twice as likely to have long-term impairment up to the age of 6 years, especially developmental delays and sensorineural hearing loss, than cCMV-negative comparison children, with a risk difference of 12.8%. These insights into the risk of cCMV-associated impairment can help optimize care and stimulate preventive measures.

WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) leads to impairment in 25% of cases. Fifty per cent of children with cCMV symptoms at birth have long-term impairment. The risk difference of moderate to severe long-term impairment between children with and without cCMV is 13%, attributable to cCMV. cCMV leads to motor, cognitive, and speech-language developmental delay in children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1261-1268
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections/complications
  • Developmental Disabilities/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intellectual Disability/epidemiology
  • Language Disorders/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term impairment attributable to congenital cytomegalovirus infection: a retrospective cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this