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8/22/2022  |   10:45 AM - 11:10 AM   |  Governor General III

Risk factors for hearing loss at birth in newborns with congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV)

Introduction: Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection is a major cause of nonhereditary sensorineural hearing loss. It is still unclear which children are prone to suffer from hearing loss. This study investigated risk factors of congenital hearing loss. Methods: Clinical, neurologic and laboratory findings, timing of seroconversion and blood viral load were considered as risk factors in a logistic regression model. Results: 1,033 children were included. Our regression model showed 3 independent risk factors of congenital hearing loss: petechiae at birth [Odds Ratio (OR) 6.68], periventricular cysts on MRI (OR 4.63) and seroconversion in the first trimester (OR 3.14). Remarkably higher viral loads were seen in children with congenital hearing loss compared to children with normal hearing (median viral load of 1349.5 and 447.0 copies/ml respectively; p=0.150). Conclusions: cCMV-affected children with petechiae at birth, periventricular cysts on MRI or a seroconversion in the first trimester are at higher risk of congenital hearing loss. Knowing risk factors can lead to new insights in the pathogenesis of cCMV-related hearing loss. These findings may aid clinicians to counsel parents about the risk of congenital hearing loss.

  • Participants will be able to evaluate the risk of congenital hearing loss based on the first examinations of the child.
  • They will gain insight in the future perspectives of cCMV-related hearing loss.
  • Finally, they might participate in the debate of the pathophysiology of cCMV-related hearing loss.

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Elise De Cuyper (POC-Point of Contact,Primary Presenter), elise.decuyper@ugent.be;
Elise De Cuyper obtained her medical degree at Ghent University in 2020. As an ENT resident, she started a PhD concerning hearing loss in congenital cytomegalovirus at the Department of Head and Skin under supervision of Prof. Ingeborg Dhooge. She has been awarded with a PhD fellowship for fundamental research from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and published her first article ‘The Effect of (Val)ganciclovir on Hearing in Congenital Cytomegalovirus: A Systematic Review’. Her research is based on the Flemish CMV registry, a prospective, multicentric database founded in 2007.


Financial - Receives Salary, Grants for Employment from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - Receives support from Ghent University, Department of Head and Skin ENT Department, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium for Grant.