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Pediatr Neurol. 1996 Oct;15(3):249-53.

Late intrauterine Cytomegalovirus infection: clinical and neuroimaging findings.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.


Fetal Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in early pregnancy usually results in severe neurological handicap and sensorineural hearing loss with typical neuroradiological findings of calcification, migrational anomalies, disturbed myelination, and cerebellar hypoplasia. Infections acquired in late pregnancy have less prominent signs, such as microcephaly, hearing deficits, and minor neurological handicap. We report 7 children who presented with a similar clinical complex of signs: microcephaly, sensorineural hearing impairment, behavior problems with hyperactivity, reduced apprehension for pain in 5 of the 7, ataxia in 3, and hypotonia with clumsiness in 3 others. All manifested mild to severe developmental problems. Cranial CT revealed calcification in 4 of 6 patients. MRI in all 7 children showed patchy to confluent nonprogressive dysmyelination. Only 2 children had acute neonatal signs of congenital CMV infection. We assume that these children acquired CMV infection in the third trimester of gestation, leading to microcephaly, hearing loss, and neurological and developmental problems with typical neuroradiological signs.

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