OBJECTIVES. The objectives were to determine the frequency of congenital cytomegalovirus infection among newborns who did not pass hearing screening tests or had confirmed hearing loss and to determine how often abnormal hearing screening results were the only manifestation of congenital cytomegalovirus infection.
METHODS. Retrospective chart review was performed for newborns who had abnormal hearing screening results and positive urine cytomegalovirus culture results at Parkland Memorial Hospital between September 1, 1999, and August 31, 2004.
RESULTS. During the 5-year study period, 572 of 79047 newborns (7 of 1000 live births) did not pass hearing screening tests. Cytomegalovirus infection was identified in 24 (5%) of 483 tested infants and 16 (6%) of the 256 infants with subsequently confirmed hearing impairment. Of those 16 infants, 12 (75%) were identified as having congenital cytomegalovirus infection only because of failure to pass newborn hearing screening tests.
CONCLUSIONS. Congenital cytomegalovirus infection was present for 6% of newborns with confirmed hearing impairment, and the majority of those infants were identified on the basis of abnormal newborn hearing screening results.