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November 1966

Ocular Involvement in Congenital Cytomegalic Inclusion Disease

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC; Philadelphia
From the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC, and the Department of Ophthalmology, Temple University Medical Center, Philadelphia. Dr. Smith is now at the Department of Ophthalmology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;76(5):696-699. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.03850010698013

Cytomegalic inclusion disease is a viral infection characterized histologically by the formation of peculiar large cells with intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions. The disease is usually seen in the newborn and, in all probability, is the result of transplacental infection of the fetus from an asymptomatic mother.1-3 Manifestations of the disease include jaundice, thrombocytopenia, anemia, hepatosplenomegaly, and neurologic signs.4 While most congenital infections are benign, asymptomatic, and completely subclinical, those that produce the foregoing manifestations in the newborn are most often lethal. In those infants who do survive, however, mental retardation is typically present.

The ophthalmologist may be consulted because these affected infants frequently have chorioretinitis. This ocular manifestation, plus the frequent finding of intracranial calcification, makes the clinical differentiation from toxoplasmosis difficult.

In the adult, the disease is even rarer than in the infant and usually occurs as a terminal infection complicating other debilitating diseases, such as malignant