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J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Mar;47(3):660-5. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01576-08. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Clinical predictive value of real-time PCR quantification of human cytomegalovirus DNA in amniotic fluid samples.

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Department of Medical Diagnostic Sciences, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic reliability and prognostic significance of the quantification of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in amniotic fluid (AF). We retrospectively reviewed the results for 282 amniotic fluid samples that had been tested for CMV by a quantitative real-time PCR. We observed three cases in which no CMV genomes were detected in the AF but in which the children were nevertheless congenitally infected. Hence, we conclude that a negative result by PCR for CMV in AF cannot rule out the possibility of congenital infection. No false-positive PCR results were observed. A correlation between the CMV viral load in AF and the fetal and neonatal outcomes could not be demonstrated in our study. Instead, a correlation was found between the CMV viral load and the gestational age at the time of amniocentesis.

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