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March 1984

Human Cytomegalovirus Infection and Disorders of the Nervous System

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatric Neurology, Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(3):310-320. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050150092023

• Infection with human cytomegalovirus (CMV) occurs in nearly 1% of live-born infants, and from 60% to 80% of the inhabitants of the United States acquire CMV infection by mid adulthood. While neurologic disorders do not develop in the majority of congenitally infected infants, congenital CMV infection can severely damage the developing nervous system, causing microcephaly, psychomotor retardation, seizures, and deafness. Furthermore, approximately 10% of infants who are asymptomatic at birth subsequently exhibit sensorineural hearing loss. In the adult, CMV infection has been associated with the Guillain-Barré syndrome, meningoencephalitis, and retinitis. Although Guillain-Barré syndrome can accompany CMV infections In previously healthy adults, meningoencephalitis and retinitis occur more commonly in immunosuppressed patients, particularly among organ transplant recipients. In total, at least 7,000 persons in the United States each year have neurologic disorders attributable to CMV infection.

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