Ganciclovir treatment in children with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is still controversial and only indicated in selected cases. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical and demographic features of CMV hepatitis in immunocompetent children and to determine the effect of ganciclovir treatment in these patients retrospectively. The study was carried out in a group of 29 children with CMV hepatitis. All the patients were investigated for signs of infection, inborn errors of metabolism, genetic diseases, extrahepatic biliary atresia and other causes of hepatitis. Two patients with congenital CMV infection and two patients with biliary atresia were excluded from the study group. The patients included in the study were divided into two groups: non-cholestatic hepatitis (n=16) as Group I and cholestatic hepatitis (n=9) as Group II. Four (25%) patients in the non-cholestatic group and four (44.4%) in the cholestatic group were treated with ganciclovir for a median of 21 days. The mean age was 9.6 +/- 16 9 months (median age 6 months) in Group I, while cholestatic hepatitis patients in Group II were significantly younger, with a mean age of 2.7 +/- 0.9 months (p < 0.01). The most prominent symptoms at admission were diarrhea and vomiting (25%) in Group I. In Group I, all cases (100%) and in Group II, three of four cases (75%) treated with ganciclovir had recovery from acute CMV hepatitis. In the non-cholestatic group, no relapses were observed while one patient in the cholestatic group relapsed and progressed into,chronic liver disease. Patients who received supportive treatment showed a marked decrease in GGT, ALT, AST and bilirubin levels spontaneously and no relapses of hepatitis were observed in at least one year of follow-up. Although ganciclovir therapy is not indicated particularly in immunocompetent cases, since most were self-limited infections, in case of progressive and persistent hepatitis, such as in our cases, ganciclovir was a treatment option; no side effect due to ganciclovir therapy was observed in our cases. Although ganciclovir seems to be effective in progressive CMV hepatitis, multicenter randomized studies in a large study group are necessary to determine the efficacy and indications for ganciclovir treatment.