Evidence-based guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) were recently released by two independent expert groups. Of particular emphasis was the relationship between cCMV and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), a major component of the virus’ overall disease burden. In this study, a literature review was performed to estimate the proportion of cCMV-related SNHL cases, which might be identified through selective cCMV testing following failed newborn hearing screening. Furthermore, it was of interest to estimate the potential benefit of emerging antiviral therapies. Currently, at most 10% of cCMV-related SNHL is likely to be identified clinically. Through use of a selective cCMV testing protocol, however, a significant improvement in the identification rate can be achieved. Recent expert group statements strongly recommend antiviral therapy in cases of moderate-to-severe disease, especially in the presence of central nervous system involvement. Though differences exist between recommendations in instances of isolated SNHL or SNHL in combination with only mild symptoms, the majority of experts in both groups offered at least a weak recommendation for antiviral treatment. Available results suggest antiviral treatment could therefore benefit a meaningful proportion of newborns referred for cCMV testing following failed newborn hearing screening.
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