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DefinitionCMV esophagitis is an infection of the esophagus caused by the cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
CMV esophagitis usually affects immunosuppressed or immunodeficient people. It causes esophageal ulcers with very painful and difficult swallowing. Oral lesions, often in the form of mouth ulcers , may also be present.
Signs and tests
Most specialists suggest treatment with antiviral medications that are given through a vein ( intravenous ). Usually, ganciclovir or foscarnet are given. A newer oral medication called valganciclovir is being studied for potential use.
Expectations (prognosis)Esophagitis can usually be treated effectively. The outcome depends upon the underlying immunodeficiency that makes the person more susceptible to the infection.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if symptoms of esophagitis CMV develop, especially if you are immunosuppressed.
Prevention of AIDS prevents opportunistic infections, such as those caused by the cytomegalovirus. (Opportunistic infections are infections by organisms that are not normally disease-producing, but take advantage of a situation, such as a damaged immune system.) AIDS patients who are effectively treated with antiretroviral therapy are much less likely to get CMV infection.
Update Date: 2/3/2004Kenneth Wener, M.D., Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT