Vestibular, gaze, and balance disorders in asymptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus infection

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) is the leading nongenetic cause of sensorineural hearing loss and developmental disabilities. Because there are limited data from studies of vestibular involvement in select groups of children with cCMV, the true frequency of vestibular disorders in cCMV is likely underestimated. Our objective for this study is to determine the prevalence of vestibular, gaze, and balance disorders in a cohort of children with asymptomatic cCMV. METHODS: Comprehensive vestibular, gaze, and balance assessments were performed in 40 children with asymptomatic cCMV. The function of semicircular canals of the inner ear and vestibulo-visual tract were assessed by measuring vestibulo-ocular reflex in a computer-driven motorized rotary chair; inner ear saccular function was assessed by using cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential; gaze stability during head movement was assessed by using clinical dynamic visual acuity, and balance was assessed by using the sensory organization test and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition. Test results for each variable were compared with those of a control group without cCMV and/or compared to age-matched normative published data. RESULTS: Vestibular disorders were evident in 45% of the cohort on the basis of rotary chair and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing, suggesting abnormalities in semicircular canals, the utricle and saccule of the inner ear, and vestibulo-visual tracts. Additionally, 46% of the cohort had difficulties maintaining gaze during head movement, and one-third to one-half of the cohort had difficulties maintaining balance. CONCLUSIONS: Vestibular, gaze, and balance disorders are highly prevalent in children with asymptomatic cCMV. Systematic screening for vestibular disorders will be used to determine the full clinical impact for the development of effective interventions.
  • Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pinninti S; Christy J; Almutairi A; Cochrane G; Fowler KB; Boppana S
  • Volume

  • 147
  • Issue

  • 2