Oral Valganciclovir Initiated Beyond 1 Month of Age as Treatment of Sensorineural Hearing Loss Caused by Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: A Randomized Clinical Trial

J Pediatr. 2024 May:268:113934. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2024.113934. Epub 2024 Feb 2.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine if valganciclovir initiated after 1 month of age improves congenital cytomegalovirus-associated sensorineural hearing loss.

Study design: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of 6 weeks of oral valganciclovir at US (n = 12) and UK (n = 9) sites. Patients of ages 1 month through 3 years with baseline sensorineural hearing loss were enrolled. The primary outcome was change in total ear hearing between baseline and study month 6. Secondary outcome measures included change in best ear hearing and reduction in cytomegalovirus viral load in blood, saliva, and urine.

Results: Of 54 participants enrolled, 35 were documented to have congenital cytomegalovirus infection and were randomized (active group: 17; placebo group: 18). Mean age at enrollment was 17.8 ± 15.8 months (valganciclovir) vs 19.5 ± 13.1 months (placebo). Twenty (76.9%) of the 26 ears from subjects in the active treatment group did not have worsening of hearing, compared with 27 (96.4%) of 28 ears from subjects in the placebo group (P = .09). All other comparisons of total ear or best ear hearing outcomes were also not statistically significant. Saliva and urine viral loads decreased significantly in the valganciclovir group but did not correlate with change in hearing outcome.

Conclusions: In this randomized controlled trial, initiation of antiviral therapy beyond the first month of age did not improve hearing outcomes in children with congenital cytomegalovirus-associated sensorineural hearing loss.

Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01649869.

Keywords: antiviral therapy; congenital infection; cytomegalovirus; hearing loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antiviral Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / complications
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / congenital
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / drug therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Ganciclovir* / administration & dosage
  • Ganciclovir* / analogs & derivatives
  • Ganciclovir* / therapeutic use
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / drug therapy
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / virology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Valganciclovir* / administration & dosage
  • Valganciclovir* / therapeutic use
  • Viral Load


  • Valganciclovir
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ganciclovir

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01649869