Diagnosis

Laboratory tests — including tests of blood and other body fluids or tests of tissue samples — can detect CMV virus.

Screening and testing for your baby

If you're pregnant, testing to determine whether you've ever been infected with CMV can be important. Pregnant women with antibodies have a very small chance of a reactivation infecting their unborn child.

If your doctor detects a new CMV infection during pregnancy, a prenatal test (amniocentesis) can determine if the fetus has the infection. In amniocentesis your doctor obtains and examines a sample of amniotic fluid. Amniocentesis is generally recommended when abnormalities that might be caused by CMV are seen on ultrasound.

If your doctor suspects your baby has congenital CMV, it's important to test the baby within the first three weeks of birth. After that, tests can't show your baby has congenital CMV because the baby might have contracted the infection by nursing or exposure to other people with the virus. If your baby has CMV, your doctor likely will recommend additional tests to check the health of the baby's organs, such as the liver and kidneys.

Screening and testing if you have weakened immunity

Testing for CMV can also be important if you have a weakened immune system. For example, if you have HIV or AIDS, carrying the CMV virus means you'll need regular monitoring for complications of CMV, such as vision and hearing problems.

April 12, 2017
References
  1. Bennett JE, et al., eds. Cytomegalovirus (CMV). In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  2. Goldman L, et al., eds. Cytomegalovirus. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  3. Friel TJ. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and treatment of cytomegalovirus in immunocompetent adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  4. Kliegman RM, et al. Cytomegalovirus. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  5. Bialas KM, et al. Perinatal cytomegalovirus and varicella zoster virus infections: Epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. Clinics in Perinatology. 2015;42:61.
  6. Demmler-Harrison GJ. Congenital cytomegalovirus infection: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  7. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection: Babies born with CMV (congenital CMV infection). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cmv/congenital-infection.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
  8. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection: About CMV. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/overview.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
  9. Sheffield JS, et al. Cytomegalovirus infection in pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  10. Feldman DM, et al. Toxoplasmosis, parvovirus, and cytomegalovirus in pregnancy. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2016;36:407.
  11. Caliendo AM. Approach to the diagnosis of cytomegalovirus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
  12. Demmler-Harrison GJ. Congenital cytomegalovirus infection: Management and outcomes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.