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J Infect Dis. 1999 Oct;180(4):1320-3.

Prenatal diagnostic and prognostic value of human cytomegalovirus load and IgM antibody response in blood of congenitally infected fetuses.

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Servizio di Virologia, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) load and virus-specific IgM were quantified in blood of 36 fetuses from mothers with primary HCMV infection. Nineteen fetuses were congenitally infected and 17 were uninfected as diagnosed by virus isolation from and DNA detection in amniotic fluid. Sensitivity of antigenemia was 57.9%; of viremia, 55. 5%; of leukoDNAemia, 82.3%; and of IgM, 57.9%; specificity was 100% for all assays. When amniocentesis was performed, 4 HCMV-infected fetuses (group A) showed abnormal ultrasound and biochemical/hematologic findings, 8 (group B) had elevated gamma-glutamyl transferase values, and 7 (group C) had normal ultrasound and biochemical findings. Virus loads were higher in groups A and B than in group C. In group A, no pregnancy went to term, in group B, 3 of 6 newborns were symptomatic at birth, and in group C, the 6 newborns were subclinically infected. Taken together, virologic, laboratory, and ultrasound findings may contribute to a better prognostic definition of fetal HCMV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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