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Mononucleosis, photomicrograph of cells
Mononucleosis, photomicrograph of cells


Mononucleosis, photomicrograph of cells
Mononucleosis, photomicrograph of cells


Infectious mononucleosis #3
Infectious mononucleosis #3


Infectious mononucleosis
Infectious mononucleosis


Mononucleosis, photomicrograph of cell
Mononucleosis, photomicrograph of cell


Mononucleosis - mouth
Mononucleosis - mouth


Antibodies
Antibodies


Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection

Definition:

Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a condition caused by a member of the herpesvirus family.



Alternative Names:

CMV mononucleosis; Cytomegalovirus (CMV)



Causes:

Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is very common. The infection is spread by:

  • Blood transfusions
  • Organ transplants
  • Respiratory droplets
  • Saliva
  • Sexual contact
  • Urine

Most people come into contact with CMV in their lifetime. Typically only people with a weakened immune system become ill from CMV infection. Some otherwise healthy people with acute CMV infection develop a mononucleosis-like syndrome.

In the United States, CMV infection most commonly develops between ages 10 and 35. Many people are exposed to CMV early in life but do not realize it because they have no symptoms, or they have mild symptoms that resemble the common cold. People with a compromised immune system can have a more severe form of the disease.

CMV is a type of herpes virus. The virus remains in your body for the rest of your life. If your immune system becomes weakened in the future, this virus may have the chance to reactivate, causing symptoms.



Symptoms:

Less common symptoms include:



Exams and Tests:

Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and feel your belly area. Your liver and spleen may be tender when they are gently pressed (palpated). You may have a skin rash.

Special lab tests such as a CMV DNA serum PCR test may be done to check for substances in your blood that are produced by CMV. Other tests such as a CMV antibody test may be done to check your body’s response to the CMV infection.

Other tests include:



Treatment:

Most patients recover in 4 to 6 weeks without medication. Rest is needed, sometimes for a month or longer to regain full activity levels. Painkillers and warm salt-water gargles can help relieve symptoms.

Antiviral medications are usually not used in people with normal immune function.



Outlook (Prognosis):

Fever usually goes away in 10 days, and swollen lymph glands and spleen return to normal in 4 weeks. Fatigue may linger for 2 to 3 months.



Possible Complications:

Throat infection is the most common complication. Rare complications include:



When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of acute CMV infection.

Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have sharp, severe sudden pain in your left upper abdomen. This could be a sign of a ruptured spleen, which may require emergency surgery.



Prevention:

CMV infection can be contagious if the infected person comes in close or intimate contact with another person. You should avoid kissing and sexual contact with an infected person.

The virus may also spread among young children in day care settings.

When planning blood transfusions or organ transplants, the CMV status of the donor can be checked to avoid passing CMV to a recipient who has not had CMV infection.



References:

Crumpacker CS II, Zhang JL. Cytomegalovirus. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 138.

Drew WL. Cytomegalovirus. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 384.




Review Date: 8/31/2014
Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

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