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OBJECTIVE: To determine if valganciclovir initiated after 1 month of age improves congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV(-associated sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of 6 weeks of oral valganciclovir at United States (n=12) and United Kingdom (n=9) sites. Patients ages1 month through 3 years with baseline SNHL were enrolled. The primary outcome was change in total ear hearing between baseline and study month 6. Secondary outcome measures included change in best ear hearing and reduction in CMV viral load in blood, saliva, and urine. RESULTS: Of 54 participants enrolled, 35 were documented to have cCMV infection and were randomized (active group: 17; placebo group: 18). Mean age at enrollment was 17.8 ± 15.8 months (valganciclovir) versus 19.5 ± 13.1 months (placebo). Twenty (76.9%) of the 26 ears from subjects in the active treatment group did not have worsening of hearing, compared with 27 (96.4%) of 28 ears from subjects in the placebo group (p= 0.09). All other comparisons of total ear or best ear hearing outcomes were also not statistically significant. Saliva and urine viral loads decreased significantly in the valganciclovir group but did not correlate with change in hearing outcome. CONCLUSIONS: In this randomized controlled trial, initiation of antiviral therapy beyond the first month of age did not improve hearing outcomes in children with cCMV-associated SNHL.

Original publication




Journal article


J Pediatr

Publication Date