OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical characteristics of intrauterine infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) virus, an uncommonly recognized cause of congenital viral infection. PATIENTS: Three infants born in the midwestern United States in 1994 and 1995 with clinical features and serologic studies consistent with congenital LCM virus infection and cases of congenital infection identified by review of the medical literature between 1955 and 1996. RESULTS: Twenty-six infants with serologically confirmed congenital LCM virus infection were identified. Twenty-two infants were products of term gestations, and birth weights ranged from 2384 to 4400 g (median, 3520 g). Ocular abnormalities, macrocephaly, or microcephaly were the most commonly identified neonatal features. Twenty-one infants (88%) had chorioretinopathy, 10 (43%) had macrocephaly (head circumference >90th percentile) at birth, and 3 (13%) were microcephalic (head circumference <10th percentile). Macrocephaly and hydrocephalus developed postnatally in one of the latter infants. Hydrocephalus or intracranial calcifications were documented in five infants by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Nine infants (35%) died, and 10 (63%) of the 16 reported survivors had severe neurologic sequelae, consisting of spastic quadriparesis, seizures, visual loss, or mental retardation. One-half of the mothers reported illnesses compatible with LCM virus infection, and 25% reported exposures to rodents during their pregnancies. CONCLUSIONS: These cases suggest that congenital LCM virus infection could be an underrecognized cause of congenital infection among infants born in the United States. Because of the clinical similarities of these congenital infections, cases of congenital LCM virus infection can be confused with infections with cytomegalovirus or Toxoplasma gondii.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health