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J Vasc Surg. 1994 Aug;20(2):235-43.

Detection of active cytomegalovirus infection in inflammatory aortic aneurysms with RNA polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.



We previously reported the possible role of human cytomegalovirus in the pathogenesis of inflammatory aortic diseases. To further analyze the viral cause of human aortic diseases, in this study we examined the presence and the replication of human Herpesviridae in 60 aortic tissues, including 7 inflammatory aneurysms, 37 atherosclerotic aneurysms, and 16 normal aortas.


To detect the genome of herpes simplex virus (type 1, type 2), cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus, DNA polymerase chain reaction for each virus was performed. To analyze these herpesviral replications, the viral transcript was detected with RNA polymerase chain reaction.


The DNA polymerase chain reaction showed that either herpes simplex virus or cytomegalovirus was present more frequently in inflammatory (29% or 86%, respectively) and atherosclerotic aneurysms (27% or 65%, respectively) than in normal aortic tissues (6% or 31%, respectively), whereas the Epstein-Barr viral genome was not detected in any aortic tissue specimens. By the use of RNA polymerase chain reaction, only the cytomegaloviral transcript was recognized in 71% of the inflammatory aneurysms but was not recognized in any other tissue specimens. No other herpesviral transcripts were detected in any tissue specimens examined in this study.


Our results thus suggest that the human herpesviruses may play various roles in the pathogenicity of aortic diseases, in particular the replicating infections of the cytomegalovirus might potentially cause the formation of inflammatory aneurysms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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