To investigate retrospectively the prognostic significance of maternal, fetal, and neonatal parameters and clinical outcome in 150 HCMV congenital infections during the period 1995-2009. HCMV fetal infection was investigated in amniotic fluid and fetal blood samples. HCMV congenital infection was confirmed in newborn urine and blood samples. Symptomatic infection was defined in HCMV-infected fetuses and in infected newborns on the basis of physical and instrumental findings. Follow-up at 3, 6, 12 months, and then annually up to school age, included clinical evaluation, funduscopic, audiologic, neurologic, and cognitive assessment. Overall, 122/150 (81.3%) newborns were asymptomatic and 28/150 (18.7%) were symptomatic at birth. The best prognostic maternal parameter of symptomatic infection at birth was gestational age at infection (P = 0.037). The best fetal virological markers were HCMV DNA levels in amniotic fluid (P < 0.001), antigenaemia levels (P = 0.007), HCMV DNA levels in blood (P = 0.004), and HCMV-specific IgM index values (P = 0.002). The only significant neonatal parameter was HCMV DNA level in blood [P = 0.006; OR, 3.62 (95% CI, 1.46-8.97)]. Symptoms at birth correlated significantly with long-term sequelae (P = 0.021). A trend towards a risk of sequelae in early (n = 15/58 examined) versus late (n = 6/57 examined) maternal infection was documented. The risk of symptomatic congenital infection at birth increased linearly with the number of significant maternal, fetal, and neonatal parameters
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