Congenital Cytomegalovirus Targeted Screening Implementation and Outcomes: A Retrospective Chart Review

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022 Jul;167(1):178-182. doi: 10.1177/01945998211044125. Epub 2021 Sep 14.


Objective: To assess the effectiveness and outcomes of a targeted cytomegalovirus (CMV) testing protocol.

Study design: Retrospective chart review.

Setting: Tertiary care institution.

Methods: Targeted screening for CMV in children who did not pass the newborn hearing screening (NHS) was introduced in July 2015 for the level 2 and 3 nurseries at our hospital. In January 2016, this policy was extended to include all nurseries. Retrospective chart review was performed for all newborns who did not pass their NHS between 2013 and 2020. CMV testing rates and related outcomes were compared before and after rollout.

Results: A total of 891 charts were reviewed for infants who did not pass their NHS: 530 (60%) had CMV testing, of which 8 (1.5%) tested positive. Three cases were detected prior to and 5 occurred after initiation of targeted screening. Six CMV+ infants demonstrated hearing loss on confirmatory auditory brainstem response, all of whom began treatment with oral valganciclovir. Hearing remained stable in 3 patients, progressed in 2, and improved in 1. The rate of CMV testing in children who did not pass their NHS increased from 14% to 88% after full implementation of targeted screening (P < .001). The average age at initial infectious disease consultation was significantly younger for infants born after targeted screening (P < .001).

Conclusion: Targeted screening is a feasible and effective method to identify CMV+ infants early in life. Implementation of a targeted screening program for CMV in children who do not pass the NHS resulted in significantly higher rates of CMV testing and earlier referral to infectious disease.

Keywords: cytomegalovirus; hearing loss; targeted screening.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / congenital
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / drug therapy
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / diagnosis
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neonatal Screening / methods
  • Retrospective Studies