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For Health Care Providers

Risk Factor Screening for Permanent Hearing Loss (PHL)

Follow-up for infants who screen positive for CMV or genetic risk factors for permanent hearing loss (PHL) involves the coordinated efforts of the following different groups of health care providers.

A team of specialized registered nurses, nurse practitioners, genetic counsellors, Infant Hearing Program audiologists are responsible for carefully disclosing screen positive results to families and coordinating the follow-up testing required. 

The NSO clinical team may notify an infant's primary care provider if one of their patients has a positive CMV or genetic risk factor screening result and ask for their assistance in disclosing the result to the family and explaining the next steps required. In our experience, there can be benefit to a family being informed of results through a familiar health care provider, and we thank you for your continued support in this regard.

  • A group of rostered community pediatricians partners in Ontario are involved in the initial assessment and developmental follow-up of infants who are screen positive for congenital CMV. These pediatricians are key partners in CMV screening.
  • We continue to actively recruit pediatricians that would like to participate in this program. View this infographic for more information and contact NSOHearing @cheo.on.ca if you are interested in participating. 

Submit ASQ3 scores through the Developmental Surveillance Report Form

CMV screen positive infants require an initial, timely medical evaluation to determine whether symptoms of congenital CMV are present. Treatment may be an option for some symptomatic infants, and referral to a pediatric infectious diseases specialist is required. 

IHP audiologists perform diagnostic audiology assessments for CMV and genetic risk factor screen positive infants. They are also involved in arranging interventions for infants found to have PHL and audiologic surveillance for those who do not. 

CMV and genetic risk factor screen positive infants who have confirmed PHL are referred to pediatric Otolaryngology for further evaluation. 

Diagnostic Testing for PHL at NSO

Testing for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and/or Genetic Risk Factors (GJB2, SLC26A4) for PHL

  • This requisition [511.57 KB] is to be used for result or test requests for babies who have confirmed PHL, suspected or confirmed CMV, or a personal/family history of genetic risk factors.
  • If risk factor screening was not performed for a child (e.g. they were born before July 29, 2019, or parent/guardian consent was not received), testing of the residual dried blood spot sample for CMV using PCR for viral DNA can be requested using this form.
  • For children with Permanent Hearing Loss and negative risk factor screening results, NSO can provide additional testing for CMV and genetic risk factors. This involves reporting whether a variant was identified on the common variant panel used for risk factor screening. If a single variant was identified, full sequencing of the relevant gene can be performed by NSO.
  • Please call 613-738-3222 with any questions.

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