With the emergence of newborn congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) screening programs, more infants are being diagnosed and require long-term follow-up. The objective of the study was to summarize the literature to date on neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with cCMV with attention to study-specific definitions of disease severity (symptomatic vs. asymptomatic).
This systematic scoping review included studies of children with cCMV (≤18 years-old) measuring neurodevelopment in ≥1 domain: global, gross motor, fine motor, speech/language, and intellectual/cognitive. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed. PubMed, PsychInfo, and Embase databases were searched.
33 studies met inclusion criteria. Global development most frequently measured (n = 21), followed by cognitive/intellectual (n = 16) and speech/language (n = 8). Most (31/33) studies differentiated children by cCMV severity (symptomatic vs. asymptomatic), definitions of which ranged broadly. 15/21 studies described global development categorically (e.g., normal vs. abnormal). Across studies and domains, children with cCMV generally had equivalent or lower scores (vs. controls or normed measures).
Variation in definitions of cCMV severity and blunt categorical outcomes may limit the generalizability of findings. Future studies should utilize standardized definitions of disease severity and in-depth measurement and reporting of neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with cCMV.
Neurodevelopmental delays are common among children with cCMV, although gaps in the literature to have made quantification of such delays challenging.
Variation in definitions of asymptomatic and symptomatic cCMV as well as the use of categorical outcomes of neurodevelopment (e.g., normal vs. abnormal) limits the generalizability and clinical utility of findings.
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The authors would like to acknowledge Marisa Conte from the Taubman Medical Library at the University of Michigan Medical School for her assistance in performing the scoping review, Scott Grosse for his feedback on table creation. The authors would also like to acknowledge Seth Dobson from Artful Analytics, LLC and Kathleen Muldoon for their input regarding figures.
M.H.P. is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development, at the National Institutes of Health (5K23HD108278) and the Gerber Foundation.
M.H.P. serves on the Executive Committee of the National CMV Foundation (unpaid) and as a content consultant regarding congenital cytomegalovirus for MedScape/WebMD, neither of which had any input into the conceptualization or creation of this manuscript. C.S.L. and J.B.W. have no competing interests to declare.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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Pesch, M.H., Lauer, C.S. & Weinberg, J.B. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of children with congenital cytomegalovirus: a systematic scoping review. Pediatr Res (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-023-02639-6