Cytomegalovirus colitis in immunocompetent critically ill patients

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Objectives: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a ubiquitous virus and its reactivation may lead to CMV end-organ disease (CMV EOD) in immunocompromised patients and also in immunocompetent patients when they are critically ill. We aimed to investigate the frequency and the clinical features of proven CMV EOD in previously non-immunosuppressed patients admitted to our institution. Methods: From January 2000 to March 2013, the records of all patients with a histopathological diagnosis of CMV EOD at our teaching hospital were reviewed retrospectively. CMV EOD was diagnosed histologically by the identification of true cytomegalic viral inclusion involving endothelial, stromal, and/or epithelial cells on hematoxylin and eosin staining, and was subsequently confirmed by immunohistochemistry using specific antibody against CMV antigens. Immunocompromised patients were excluded. Results: CMV EOD manifesting as colitis was diagnosed in 14 previously immunocompetent intensive care unit (ICU) patients. The mean age of the patients was 64 years. All had co-morbidities and developed shock before CMV EOD. The major manifestation was gastrointestinal bleeding. The in-hospital mortality rate was 71.4% despite specific treatment with ganciclovir. Conclusions: Despite being a rare condition, lower gastrointestinal bleeding in this profile of ICU patients could be the clinical manifestation of CMV colitis, and intensivists should be alert to this condition. © 2013 The Authors.




Siciliano, R. F., Castelli, J. B., Randi, B. A., Vieira, R. D., & Strabelli, T. M. V. (2014). Cytomegalovirus colitis in immunocompetent critically ill patients. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 20(1), 71–73.

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