Medicine (MD/DO)
DNA Viruses
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) TORCH

Master Cytomegalovirus (CMV) TORCH with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) TORCH

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
picmonic thumbnail
Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)
picmonic thumbnail
Varicella (Chickenpox)
picmonic thumbnail
Epstein Barr Virus
picmonic thumbnail
Epstein Barr Virus Mononucleosis

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) TORCH

Side-toe-mega virus torch
Cytomegalovirus is a DNA virus that can cause congenital TORCH infection. TORCH infections are infections that are acquired in utero or during the birthing process. Mothers who contract the disease are typically asymptomatic but can also present with a mononucleosis- like illness. Nonspecific signs common to many TORCH infections include hepatosplenomegaly, jaundice and thrombocytopenia. Common neonatal manifestations include deafness, intrauterine growth retardation, periventricular calcifications, seizures and petechial rash. Infants congenitally infected with CMV are chronically infected and excrete the virus in the urine for prolonged periods. Because the virus is excreted in the urine, congenital CMV infection can be diagnosed via urine culture.
Nonspecific TORCH symptoms
Yellow Torch made of liver and trombone-peanut

Nonspecific signs common to many torch infections include hepatosplenomegaly, jaundice and thrombocytopenia.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction (Retardation)
Restrictive-belt on Uterus

Intrauterine growth retardation is defined as poor growth of a fetus while in the mother's womb during pregnancy. Intrauterine growth retardation is a common finding in infants with TORCH infections, including congenital CMV infection.


Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common sequelae following congenital CMV infection.


Microcephaly is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which the head circumference is more than two standard deviations smaller than the average circumference for the person's age and gender. It is a common clinical feature of cytomegalovirus.


A seizure is defined as a transient episode of abnormal, excessive neuronal activity. Seizures are common in infants with congenital CMV infection.

Periventricular Calcifications
Pear-vent Calcified-cow

Congenital CMV infection is associated with intracranial calcifications, especially in the periventricular regions. These calcifications occur due to necrosis in the periventricular area because CMV has a predilection for germinal matrix tissue.

Petechial Rash
Tiki-mask with Rash

Petechiae are small, red-purple discolorations on the body caused by broken capillary blood vessels. A petechial rash is a common finding in congenital CMV infection. The rash can also resemble a blueberry muffin rash, also seen in congenital rubella infection.

Blueberry Muffin Rash
Blueberry Muffin with Rash

The term "blueberry muffin rash" was initially used to describe generalized hemorrhagic purpuric cutaneous manifestations observed in infants with congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Classically, this rash presents with non-blanching, blue-red macules or dome- shaped papules, and is similar to the rash seen in congenital rubella.


Chorioretinitis is inflammation of the choroid and retina of the eye, causing symptoms of floating black spots, blurry vision and pain in the eye. Chorioretinitis is commonly seen in congenital cytomegalovirus, along with other TORCH infections.

Urine Viral Culture or PCR
Urinal Virus Culture-dish or Polly-mirror with Chain Reacting

The diagnosis of congenital CMV infection at birth is usually via detection of the virus in urine within the first three weeks (21 days) of life, because infants shed large amounts of the virus in the urine. Follow-up testing after 21 days confirms the diagnosis. More rapid testing involves detection of the CMV virus in whole blood or plasma, via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.


Take the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) TORCH Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,890,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.