Clinically targeted screening for congenital CMV - potential for integration into the National Hearing Screening Programme

Acta Paediatr. 2013 Oct;102(10):928-33. doi: 10.1111/apa.12335. Epub 2013 Aug 8.


Screening for a condition should only be undertaken if certain strict criteria are met. Congenital CMV (cCMV) is a leading cause of sensorineuronal hearing loss (SNHL) and meets many of these criteria, but is not currently screened for in the UK. Ganciclovir reduces CMV-induced progressive SNHL if treatment is begun in the first month of life. The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) has been shown to identify SNHL at the earliest possible age. The potential of integrating screening for cCMV into the NHSP is discussed to consolidate the link between screening, early diagnosis and management.

Conclusion: The early diagnosis and treatment of cCMV may prevent a small proportion of late SNHL. In the absence of any screening programme, we provide evidence that clinically targeted screening through the NHSP is a potential option in the UK, enhancing the diagnostic pathway and enabling appropriate early treatment to reduce long-term morbidity.

Keywords: Congenital CMV; Screening; Sensorineural hearing loss.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / congenital
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Ganciclovir / therapeutic use
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / prevention & control
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / virology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neonatal Screening / methods
  • Neonatal Screening / organization & administration*
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ganciclovir