MARKED ascites at birth in the absence of generalized edema occurs only rarely. Volumes under 100 ml may be clinically indiscernible. Two hundred milliliters or more is usually obvious by physical examination. Baghdassarian, in her review of the problem, implicated three large groups of underlying anatomical abnormalities as being responsible for most cases of ascites in the newborn: (1) intestinal anomalies, especially perforation of the bowel, secondary to malformation; (2) portohepatic abnormalities producing obstruction of the portal circulation; (3) anomalies of the lower urinary tract.1 A fourth group of miscellaneous causes includes cases of chylous ascites, liver "giant cell" transformation, and others.
The purpose of this report is to describe what we believe to be the first case of fetal ascites, secondary to generalized cytomegalovirus infection proved by culture.
Report of a Case
The patient was a 3,063 gm (6 lb 12 oz) white boy, admitted to the Cincinnati