-Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a DNA virus in the herpesvirus family.
-It is the most common cause of intrauterine infection and brain damage, occuring in 0.2-2.2% of live births.
-30%-60% of pregnant women have CMV antibodies, but only 2.5% have primary infection during pregnancy.
-The virus is transmitted from the mother to the fetus in utero via the placenta.
-90% of infected babies are asymptomatic at birth, but some may go on to develop symptoms after 6-9 months. Some countries now keep spots of neonatal blood on special filter paper (Guthrie cards) for CMV DNA testing at a later date if needed.
 Possible signs and symptoms
The degree of neurological impairment is variable, from mild learning and behavioral problems to mental retardation and physical handicaps
 Imaging Findings
 Head CT
- Intracranial calcifications
- White matter lucencies
- Destructive encephalopathy
- Neuronal migration disorders
- Dilated ventricles
- Subarachnoid space enlargement and gyral abnormalities
- Delayed myelination
- White matter lesions
Fetal CMV is usually undetected by routine transabdominal ultrasound, but prenatal transvaginal screening ultrasound in infected mothers may show:
- Periventricualr calcifications (hyperechogenic foci)
- Heterogeneous appearing parenchyma
- Intraventricular adhesions
These findings are associated with poor outcome, allowing mothers to consider termination of the pregnancy.
 See Also
 External Links
- Van der Knaap M, et al. Pattern of white matter abnormalities at MR imaging: use of polymerase chain reaction testing of Guthrie cards to link pattern with congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Radiology. 2004 Feb;230(2):529-36.
- Kapilivsky A, et al. US case of the day. Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) brain infection. Radiographics. 1995 Jan;15(1):239-42.
- Malinger G, et al. Fetal cytomegalovirus infection of the brain: the spectrum of sonographic findings. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2003 Jan;24(1):28-32.
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