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Alternative Names Return to topPneumonia - cytomegalovirus; Cytomegalovirus pneumonia; Troll of transplantation
Definition Return to top
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can occur in people who have a suppressed immune system.
Causes Return to top
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 Return to top
Low oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxemia) with CMV pneumonia often predicts death, especially in patients who need mechanical ventilation.
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
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.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
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.
Possible Complications Return to top
Complications of CMV infection in people with AIDS include:
CMV also increases the replication of HIV in people who are infected.
Complications of CMV pneumonia include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of CMV pneumonia.
Prevention Return to top
The following have been shown to help prevent CMV pneumonia in certain patients:
Preventing AIDS avoids opportunistic diseases, including CMV, that can occur in people who have a damaged or poorly functioning immune system.Update Date: 11/1/2007 Updated by: Kenneth M. Wener, M.D., Department of Infectious Diseases, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.