The CMV & Hearing Mulitcenter Screening (CHIMES) Study is a national, multi-center study funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a division of the National Institutes of Health.  The goal of this mulit-million dollar, seven year project is to define the contribution of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection to childhood hearing loss and to develop a diagnostic assay that could be used to screen all newborns in the U.S. for congenital CMV infection.

The CHIMES Study has two components: a screening study and a follow-up study.

The goal of the screening study is to screen 100,000 newborns for congenital CMV and to correlate these findings with the results of newborn hearing screening programs which are already in place.  This screening will take place at the seven participating centers over a 3 year period.  The screening study will also provide an opportunity to compare two mechanisms for conducting CMV screening to determine which is most advantageous.  It is expected that this study will provide a basis for determining if universal screening for congenital CMV should become a national health policy recommendation as an adjunct to current newborn hearing screening programs. 

Those children who test positive for congenital CMV will be invited to participate in a follow-up study to monitor them from 2 - 4 weeks of age until the age of 31/2 or 4 years for development of hearing loss or changes in hearing.  The primary focus of the follow-up visits will be complete, age appropriate hearing evaluations which will be conducted by registered audiologists who are experienced in working with children.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the coordinating site for The CHIMES Study.  The other participating sites include:

Univerisity of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

Cincinnati Children's Hopstial Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH

Saint Peter's University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ

Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, NC

Children's Hospital of PIttsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX