Intrauterine therapy of cytomegalovirus infection with valganciclovir: review of the literature

Med Microbiol Immunol. 2017 Oct;206(5):347-354. doi: 10.1007/s00430-017-0512-3. Epub 2017 Jul 21.


Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the leading cause for sensorineural hearing loss and mental retardation in children without genetic diseases worldwide. There is little evidence guiding therapeutic strategies during pregnancy when intrauterine fetal CMV infection is confirmed. We provide a systematic review of the use of ganciclovir (GCV) or VGCV during pregnancy discussing safety of its use for mother and fetus and describe two cases of intrauterine therapy of fetal CMV infection with valganciclovir (VGCV). A PubMed database search was done up to November 16, 2016 without any restrictions of publication date or journal, using the following keywords: "valganciclovir" or "ganciclovir" and "pregnan*". Furthermore, citations were searched and expert references were obtained. Reported cases were considered if therapy was in humans and initiation of treatment of the CMV infection was during pregnancy. In total, seven case reports were retrieved which described GCV or VGCV use during pregnancy for fetal or maternal CMV infection. In the four cases of treatment for maternal CMV infection, no negative effects on the fetus were reported. Three cases of GCV administration to pregnant woman with the intention of fetal treatment after proven fetal infection were found. We additionally present two cases of VGCV treatment in pregnancy from our center of tertiary care. VGCV seems to be a safe treatment for congenital CMV infection for the mother and the fetus. Therapeutic concentrations can be achieved in the fetus by oral intake of the mother and CMV replication can be suppressed. Larger studies are needed to evaluate this therapeutic intervention and the long-term effects.

Keywords: Congenital infection; Cytomegalovirus; Intrauterine treatment; Valganciclovir.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Ganciclovir / administration & dosage
  • Ganciclovir / adverse effects
  • Ganciclovir / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Valganciclovir


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Valganciclovir
  • Ganciclovir