Cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis has mortality rates similar in immunocompetent patients to that in immunocompromised patients, according to Puo-Hsien Le, MD, and associates.
In a retrospective study, the investigators analyzed data from 42 immunocompetent patients and 27 patients who were immunocompromised because of HIV infection, solid organ or bone marrow transplantation, immunosuppressive drug use, chemotherapeutic agent use within 6 months, or other reasons. In-hospital mortality was 26.2% in immunocompetent patients and 25.9% in immunocompromised patients.
While diarrhea and melena were the first presenting symptom in a similar number of patients, immunocompetent patients were more likely to present with melena while immunocompromised patients were more likely to present with diarrhea. The number of days until diagnosis was the only independent predictor of in-hospital mortality according to the analysis, with patients who were diagnosed within 9 days of admittance having a significantly higher survival rate.
“Contrary to data published up to this point, we found that CMV colitis was not rare and that it could be fatal in immunocompetent hosts, especially those patients with advanced age, specific comorbidities associated with immune dysfunction, critical illness, or IBD. ... Being alert to the different presentations can greatly help make an accurate early diagnosis and materially improve survival for CMV colitis patients,” the investigators concluded.
Find the full study in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management ().