To determine long-term outcome of children with inapparent congenital cytomegalovirus infection, an assessment of congenitally infected children observed since birth was undertaken. Children with early postnatal acquisition of CMV infection were also evaluated. Cognitive, behavioral, neurologic, audiometric, and speech and language evaluations were performed in 48 patients, including 17 congenitally infected children, 10 children with postnatal infection, and 21 uninfected control subjects. Mean IQ of the three groups of children did not differ significantly. Behavioral, neurologic, speech and language examinations similarly failed to distinguish differences among the three groups. Audiologic abnormalities were present in four congenitally infected children, including one child with a severe unilateral sensorineural loss; in none of the children was hearing loss functionally significant. No hearing abnormalities were detected in postnatally infected children. Although inapparent CMV infection can result in audiologic sequelae, the continued lack of cognitive, behavioral, and neurologic sequelae in these school-age children reemphasizes the need to focus attention on prevention of primary maternal CMV infection to avoid the potentially devastating effects of intrauterine CMV infection.