Toward an algorithm for the diagnosis and management of CMV in patients with colitis

Lauren Beswick, Bei Ye, Daniel R. Van Langenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Concurrent cytomegalovirus (CMV) in inflammatory bowel disease-related colitis is an important yet complex clinical scenario associated with high rates of colectomy and other morbidity. This review aimed to examine the literature to produce a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment algorithm for the management of CMV in patients with colitis. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted via PubMed/Medline databases until August 31, 2015, using multiple keywords in English language and where original data only presented. Results: This review discusses the concept of CMV reactivation which frequently occurs in inflammatory bowel disease-related colitis, most commonly in those presenting with steroid-refractory colitis. In this context, although signifying a poorer prognosis, in most cases, the virus is nonpathogenic and thus antiviral treatment is unhelpful. However, when reactivation gives rise to true CMV disease (colitis) as best discriminated by histology with immunohistochemistry (and the density of such) in colonic biopsy tissue, the patient does benefit from antivirals. Conclusion: Diagnostic-based patient selection and treatment is integral to optimal outcomes in CMV, and therefore we propose an algorithm based on these concepts that now requires prospective evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2966-2976
Number of pages11
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • colitis
  • cytomegalovirus
  • inflammatory bowel disease

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