Six Months of Valganciclovir in CMV Provides Long-Term Benefit

Improved hearing and developmental outcomes in long term for neonates with symptomatic CMV

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For neonates with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV), six months of valganciclovir does not improve hearing in the short term, but is associated with improved outcomes in the long term, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

David W. Kimberlin, M.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial of valganciclovir therapy in neonates with symptomatic congenital CMV disease. Ninety-six neonates were randomized to six months versus six weeks of therapy; 86 had follow-up data at six months. The primary end point was change in hearing in the better ear (best-ear hearing) from baseline to six months.

The researchers found that best-ear hearing at six months was similar in the six-month and six-week groups (P = 0.41). At 12 months, total-ear hearing was more likely to be improved or remain normal in the six-month versus the six-week group (73 versus 57 percent; P = 0.01). The benefit was maintained at 24 months (77 versus 64 percent; P = 0.04). Compared with the six-week group, the six-month group had better neurodevelopmental scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition, on the language-composite component (P = 0.004) and receptive-communication scale (P = 0.003) at 24 months.

"Six months of oral valganciclovir therapy has a moderately favorable effect on long-term audiologic and neurodevelopmental outcomes," the authors write.

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