Recently there has been increased recognition of the importance of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) as an etiology of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in newborns. Current data suggest that between 10 and 60% of cases of SNHL in newborns are caused by CMV. This review summarizes current information about the epidemiology and pathogenesis of CMV-induced SNHL, with an emphasis on high-priority areas for future research and potential hypotheses regarding virus and host factors which might play a role in the development and progression of this disease process in newborns with congenital CMV infection.
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Supported by NIH grants HD38416-01 and HD44864-01, and a grant from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.