Refractory ulcerative colitis complicated by cytomegalovirus infection successfully treated with valganciclovir

  • Tiziana Larussa | luzza@unicz.it Department of Health Science, University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Evelina Suraci Department of Health Science, University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Immacolata Nazionale Department of Health Science, University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Francesco Conforti Department of Pathological Anatomy, University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Maria Imeneo Department of Health Science, University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Francesco Luzza Department of Health Science, University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy.

Abstract

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is widespread in the general population. In patients with severe and/or steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis (UC), local reactivation of CMV can be detected in actively inflamed colonic tissue in approximately 30% of cases. However, the role of CMV in patients with UC is not clearly understood. There is evidence to show a possible role in exacerbating a colitis flare, whereas other studies describe CMV as an innocent bystander. We report the case of a patient with severe UC complicated by CMV infection who did not respond to conventional therapy. A complete diagnostic panel for CMV diagnosis, including tissue polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, was carried out. Three-week therapy with oral valganciclovir resulted in dramatic clinical and endoscopic improvement. Timing of diagnosis and treatment of CMV infection complicating UC is crucial in order to recognize the organ-disease and plan appropriate treatment.

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Published
2012-11-13
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Section
Case Reports
Keywords:
ulcerative colitis, cytomegalovirus, valganciclovir, ganciclovir
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How to Cite
Larussa, T., Suraci, E., Nazionale, I., Conforti, F., Imeneo, M., & Luzza, F. (2012). Refractory ulcerative colitis complicated by cytomegalovirus infection successfully treated with valganciclovir. Gastroenterology Insights, 4(2), e19. https://doi.org/10.4081/gi.2012.e19