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CMV - gastroenteritis/colitis

  • Definition

    CMV gastroenteritis/colitis is inflammation of the stomach or intestine due to infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV).

    See also:

    • CMV esophagitis
    • CMV immunocompromised host
    • CMV pneumonia
    • CMV retinitis
    • Congenital CMV

    Alternative Names

    Colitis - cytomegalovirus; Gastroenteritis - cytomegalovirus; Gastrointestinal CMV disease


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a herpes-type virus related to the virus that causes chickenpox. Infection with CMV is very common.

    The infection is spread by saliva, urine, respiratory droplets, sexual contact, and blood transfusions. Most people are exposed to the virus in their lifetime, but it usually produces mild or no symptoms in healthy people.

    However, serious CMV infections can occur in people with weakened immune systems. This includes patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer and patients on immune-suppressing medicines following an organ transplant.

    In rare instances, more severe CMV infection involving the GI tract has been reported in people with healthy immune systems. When CMV colitis occurs in someone with a normal immune system, the person typically has other serious medical conditions such as a severe injury, kidney failure, or infection.

    The following increase your risk for CMV gastroenteritis/colitis:

    • AIDS
    • Bone marrow or organ transplant
    • Chemotherapy
    • Medications that suppress the immune system