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CMV pneumonia
CMV pneumonia


Antibodies
Antibodies


Definition:

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can occur in people who have a suppressed immune system.

See also:



Alternative Names:

Pneumonia - cytomegalovirus; Cytomegalovirus pneumonia; Troll of transplantation



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

CMV pneumonia is caused by a member of a group of herpes-type viruses. Infection with CMV is very common. Most healthy adults have antibodies (indicating previous infection) to CMV in their blood.

Usually CMV produces no symptoms, but serious CMV infections can occur in people with impaired immunity from conditions such as:

In people who have had organ and bone marrow transplants, the risk of infection is greatest 5 - 13 weeks after the transplant.



Symptoms:
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise )
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches or joint pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath on exertion
  • Sweating, excessive (night sweats)

Low oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxemia) with CMV pneumonia often predicts death, especially in patients who need mechanical ventilation.



Signs and tests:

Treatment:

The objective of treatment is to stop the virus from copying in the body through the use of antiviral drugs. Some people will need to get medication through a vein (intravenous). Some people might initially need oxygen therapy and breathing support with a ventilator to maintain oxygen until the infection is brought under control.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Antiviral medications stop the virus from copying itself, but do not destroy it. CMV itself suppresses the immune system, and may increase the risk of other infections due to the additional immunosuppression .



Complications:

Complications of CMV infection in people with AIDS include:

  • CMV pneumonia
  • Intestinal disease
  • Infectious, mononucleosis-like illness (CMV mononucleosis )
  • Inflammation of the retina (CMV retinitis )

CMV also increases the replication of HIV in people who are infected.

Complications of CMV pneumonia include:

  • Kidney impairment (from drugs used to treat the condition)
  • Low white blood cell count (from drugs used to treat the condition)
  • Overwhelming infection that doesn't respond to treatment
  • Relapse of infection


Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of CMV pneumonia.



Prevention:

The following have been shown to help prevent CMV pneumonia in certain patients:

  • Using organ transplant donors who don't have CMV
  • Using CMV-negative blood products for transfusion
  • Using CMV-immune globulin in certain patients

Preventing AIDS avoids opportunistic diseases, including CMV, that can occur in people who have a damaged or poorly functioning immune system.




Review Date: 11/1/2007
Reviewed By: Kenneth M. Wener, M.D., Department of Infectious Diseases, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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