Background and Aims Long-term sequelae of breast milk-associated cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in preterm infants are insufficiently evaluated. We studied the hearing of preterm infants with postnatal CMV infection within the first and second year of life.
Methods Preterm infants (GA<32wks) admitted to our NICU between 2003 and 2011, and diagnosed with CMV infection using CMV PCR of urine at 40wks were included. Congenital infection was excluded in all. Hearing was tested using auditory brainstem response (ABR) in the neonatal period and during the first and second year of life. Neurodevelopmental outcome was estimated using the Griffiths mental developmental scale (GMDS) at 18 months.
Results Eighty-eight preterm infants were diagnosed with postnatal CMV infection of whom four were lost to follow-up. All infants had normal hearing in the neonatal period. ABR-tests were performed in 64/84 (76%) infants during the first year of life (median corrected age 7 months, range 2–11) and in 18/84 (21%) infants during the second year (median corrected age 33 months, range 12–50). None of the infants developed SNHL. Mean GMDS score evaluated so far in 58/84 (69%) infants at 15.8 months corrected age (range 13.0–21.0) was 104.4 (SD 9.9) and mean score of the language sub-scale was 16.7 months (SD 2.1). There were no differences in clinical data, cerebral ultrasonography results, viral load and GMDS scores between infants with hearing tests and non-tested infants.
Conclusion Postnatally acquired CMV infection among preterm infants is not related with SNHL during the first and second year of life.