Prevalence of cytomegalovirus infection in patients with ulcerative colitis: a prospective cross-sectional study in Tehran, Iran
Background and Objectives: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been reported in ulcerative colitis (UC), but limited data are available on its prevalence in Iran. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of CMV infection in patients with UC.
Materials and Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted in 86 consecutive patients with UC. Prevalence of CMV infection was determined by rectal biopsies for hematoxylin and eosin staining and PCR. CMV-positive specimens was measured for CMV loads by real-time PCR assay.
Results: In six out of 86 (7%) patients with UC, CMV was diagnosed. These patients had detectable CMV DNA in their biopsies as indicated by PCR. In all CMV-positive patients, viral load was more than 250 copy/mg. Histochemical staining did not show any CMV inclusion bodies. No significant demographic and clinical differences existed between patients with and without a CMV infection.
Conclusion: UC and its treatment may put patients at risk of CMV infection. Real-time PCR test for the detection of CMV in UC patients may enable diagnosis of CMV infection with a high sensitivity and allow effective treatment to be administered in these patients. The impact of antiviral therapy on the clinical outcome of the UC patients with CMV remains to be elucidated.
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