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Keywords:

  • congenital cytomegalovirus;
  • ganciclovir;
  • immunoglobulin;
  • polymerase chain reaction;
  • screening
  • • 
    Cytomegalovirus is the commonest cause of congenital viral infection in developed countries.
  • • 
    Infection is asymptomatic in 90% of individuals.
  • • 
    Forty percent of pregnant women with primary infection transmit it to their fetus.
  • • 
    Ten percent of infants with congenital cytomegalovirus display clinical manifestations at birth and are at risk of neurological sequelae.
  • • 
    While routine antenatal testing is not currently recommended, congenital infection remains a significant obstetric management problem.

Learning objectives:

  • • 
    To learn about the incidence, diagnosis and sequelae of cytomegalovirus in pregnancy.
  • • 
    To become familiar with treatment options for the management of congenital cytomegalovirus.

Ethical issues:

  • • 
    Should practitioners recommend routine cytomegalovirus screening in pregnancy?
  • • 
    Is a randomised controlled trial necessary before offering treatment with hyperimmune globulin for congenital cytomegalovirus?

Please cite this article as: McCarthy FP, Jones C, Rowlands S, Giles M. Primary and secondary cytomegalovirus in pregnancy. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2009;11:96–100.