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Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2012 Apr;8(4):230-9.

Cytomegalovirus complicating inflammatory bowel disease: a 10-year experience in a community-based, university-affiliated hospital.

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  • 1Dr. Al-Zafiri is a Gastroenterology Fellow, Dr. Galiatsatos is a Physician, and Dr. Szilagyi is a Physician in the Division of Gastroenterology at Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Gologan is a Pathologist in the Department of Pathology at Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.


There is an ongoing debate regarding the signifcance of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in colonic biopsies and the effect of antiviral therapy in patients with infammatory bowel disease (IBD). In order to evaluate the possible impact of CMV disease on IBD patients, we reviewed charts of patients admitted through the emergency department with diagnoses of IBD and CMV over a 10-year period (January 2000 to November 2009). Laboratory test results and pharmacology databases were scrutinized, and pathology slides were re-evaluated when possible. The control group consisted of a historical group of IBD patients with fares who had been similarly evaluated in the emergency department but who did not have a diagnosis of CMV. Both chi-square tests and the student's t-test were used for analysis. The study consisted of 31 patients with IBD and CMV (median age, 60 years; 65% male; 58% ulcerative colitis patients). Immunohistochemistry confirmed the diagnosis in 19 cases (61%). Nine patients with CMV and IBD underwent a colectomy (29%) compared to 65 of the 581 patients in the control group (11.2%), who were evaluated during the same time period but did not have CMV (P=.007). Mortality was similar in both groups. Of the patients with CMV, 11 received ganciclovir. No significant differences in outcomes were noted with antiviral therapy. Although CMV disease is relatively uncommon in IBD patients, its presence may designate an increased risk for colectomy for reasons that are not yet clear. Patient outcomes may be independently affected by age and comorbidities. Systematic prospective studies could help determine the true effects of CMV on IBD patients.


Inflammatory bowel disease; antiviral therapy; clinical outcome; cytomegalovirus

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