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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Oct;266(10):1539-46. doi: 10.1007/s00405-009-0944-5. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Rehabilitation and outcome of severe profound deafness in a group of 16 infants affected by congenital cytomegalovirus infection.

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Audiology Department, University Hospital of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.


The aim of the study was to characterize the audiological consequences of congenital cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) and to evaluate the outcome of rehabilitation with hearing aids and/or cochlear implant (CI), associated with an adequate speech-language therapy. A retrospective review of data was made from a total of 16 infants, affected by severe to profound hearing loss from congenital CMV infection, referred to a tertiary audiological center for rehabilitation. Audiological evaluation was performed using behavioral audiometry, auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and/or electrocochleography (ECochG). Of the 16 children (median age at diagnosis of hearing loss: 21.33 +/- 0.7 months) with CMV hearing loss, 14 were affected by profound bilateral hearing loss and received a CI, while 2 were affected by bilateral severe hearing loss and received hearing aids. Cochlear implants can provide useful speech comprehension to patients with CMV-related deafness, even if language development is lower when compared to a group of Connexin (Cx) 26+ cochlear-implanted children (eight subjects), matched for age. Congenital CMV infection still represents a serious clinical condition, as well as an important cause of hearing loss in children. More studies have claimed to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of damage and thus to ensure a better therapeutic approach. Nonetheless, in cases of CMV-deafened babies, the overall outcome of cochlear implantation is good.

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