Cytomegalovirus infection in immunocompetent critically ill adults: literature review

Al-Omari, A. et al. (2016) Annals of Intensive Care. 6:110

https://wellcomeimages.org/

Image source: Pete Jeffs – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows artist’s interpretation of a human cytomegalovirus virion based on cryo-electron microscopy images

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is increasingly recognized in critically ill immunocompetent patients.

Some studies have demonstrated an association between CMV disease and increased mortality rates, prolonged intensive care unit and hospital length of stay, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and nosocomial infections. However, there is a considerable controversy whether such association represents a causal relationship between CMV disease and unfavorable outcomes or just a marker of the severity of the critical illness.

Detection of CMV using polymerase chain reaction and CMV antigenemia is the standard diagnostic approach. CMV may have variety of clinical manifestations reflecting the involvement of different organ systems. Treatment of CMV in critical care is challenging due to diagnostic challenge and drug toxicity, and building predictive model for CMV disease in critical care setting would be promising to identify patients at risk and starting prophylactic therapy.

Our objective was to broadly review the current literature on the prevalence and incidence, clinical manifestations, potential limitations of different diagnostic modalities, prognosis, and therapeutic options of CMV disease in critically ill patients.

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