Children born with cytomegalovirus infection were at a significant risk for severe and frequent vestibular disorders in a recent study.
“[Congenital cytomegalovirus CMV)] infection is the leading infectious cause of abstract neurologic disabilities and sensorineural hearing loss in children,” researcher Sophie Bernard, MD, of the pediatric otorhinolaryngology department at the Université Paris Diderot, and colleagues wrote. “Vestibular disorders are frequent and severe in children congenitally infected with CMV. Both canal and otolith functions are affected.”
The researchers analyzed 52 neonates with congenital CMV infection and hearing impairment. All participants underwent complete vestibular, postural, hearing and neurological evaluations. Vestibular disorders were compared with patient data regarding hearing loss and severity of CMV infection.
Study results showed that 92.3% of the cohort had hearing loss and some degree of vestibular disorders. Almost 44% of neonates were diagnosed with partial and bilateral vestibular disorders, 33.3% were diagnosed with complete and bilateral disorders, and 22.9% had partial and unilateral disorders.
The data also indicated that CMV infection negatively affected postural development, including head holding and the ability to stand and walk without support. The researchers said that impacts on postural development have been correlated with neurological and vestibular impairment.
“Considering the impact of complete bilateral vestibular loss on posturomotor development, screening and monitoring for vestibular disorders should be included in standard assessment and follow-up of CMV-infected children,” Bernard and colleagues wrote. – by David Costill
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.