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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2, Issue 3, Pages 146-152
Review Article

Cytomegalovirus Infection in Pregnancy

Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, P.O. Box 100294, Gainesville 32610-0294, FL, USA

Received 29 March 1994; Accepted 23 June 1994

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is of great importance to obstetrician-gynecologists because maternal infection is relatively common and can result in severe injury to the fetus. The greatest risk to the fetus occurs when the mother develops a primary CMV infection in the first trimester. Forty to 50% of infants delivered to mothers with primary CMV infections will have congenital infections. Of these neonates, 5–18% will be overtly symptomatic at birth. Approximately 30% of severely infected infants die, and 80% have severe neurologic morbidity. Eighty-five to 90% of infants will be asymptomatic, and 10–15% of these babies subsequently have sequelae such as visual and auditory defects. If the mother develops a recurrent or reactivated CMV infection during pregnancy, the risk of a severe congenital infection is very low. Perinatal infection, as opposed to congenital infection, may result from exposure to the virus during delivery or lactation and rarely leads to serious sequelae. Antimicrobial therapy and immunotherapy for CMV are, at present, unsatisfactory. Therefore, all patients, pregnant women in particular, must be educated about preventive measures.