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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can occur in people who have a suppressed immune system.
Pneumonia - cytomegalovirus; Cytomegalovirus pneumonia
CMV pneumonia is caused by a member of a group of herpes-type viruses. Infection with CMV is very common. Most humans are exposed to CMV in their lifetime, but typically only individuals with weakened immune systems become ill from CMV infection
Usually CMV produces no symptoms, but serious CMV infections can occur in people with weakened immune systems 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.
Low oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxemia) with CMV pneumonia often predicts death, especially in patients who need mechanical ventilation.
The objective of treatment is to stop the virus from copying in the body through the use of antiviral drugs. Some people with CMV pneumonia will need to get medication through a vein (intravenously). Some people might initially need oxygen therapy and breathing support with a ventilator to maintain oxygen until the infection is brought under control.
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.
Complications of CMV infection in people with AIDS include:
Complications of CMV pneumonia include:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of CMV pneumonia.
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. People with AIDS who have a CD4 count of less than 100 should consider taking preventive treatment for CMV.
Drew WL. Cytomegalovirus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 399.