Cytomegalovirus infection history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aravind Kuchkuntla, M.B.B.S[2]


In most patients, primary infection with CMV presents with a mononucleosis like presentation. Patients with immunosuppression have symptoms related to the affected organ system. Retinitis presents with blurred vision and floaters. Colitis presents with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Pneumonitis is usually asymptomatic. Neurologic infection presents with altered mental status and focal neurological deficits.

History and Symptoms

Presentation of patients with CMV infection differs with the organ system involved and is as follows: [1][2][3]

CMV Retintis

CMV Colitis

Colitis presents with the following symptoms:

CMV Esophagitis

Patients with cytomegalovirus esophagitis present with symptoms of:[4][5]

CMV Encephalitis

Patients with cytomegalovirus encephalitis presents with:[6]

CMV Ventriculoencephalitis

Patients with cytomegalovirus ventricluloencephalitis present:[7]

  • Acute onset of symptoms with focal neurological deficits
  • Cranial nerve palsies
  • Nystagmus
  • Rapid progression to death

CMV Polyradiculomyelopathy

Patients with cytomegalovirus polyradiculomyelopathy present with features similar to Guillian Barre Syndrome and have symptoms such as:[8]


  1. "" (PDF).
  2. Pinninti S, Hough-Telford C, Pati S, Boppana S (2016). "Cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr Virus Infections". Pediatr Rev. 37 (6): 223–34. doi:10.1542/pir.2015-0072. PMID 27252178.
  3. Cheung TW, Teich SA (1999). "Cytomegalovirus infection in patients with HIV infection". Mt Sinai J Med. 66 (2): 113–24. PMID 10100416.
  4. Baroco AL, Oldfield EC (2008). "Gastrointestinal cytomegalovirus disease in the immunocompromised patient". Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 10 (4): 409–16. PMID 18627655.
  5. Chui DW, Owen RL (1994). "AIDS and the gut". J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 9 (3): 291–303. PMID 8054532.
  6. Suzuki Y, Kamei S, Tamura M, Sawai S, Takasu T (1990). "[Cytomegalovirus encephalitis in immunologically normal adults]". Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 30 (2): 168–73. PMID 2161721.
  7. Fuller GN, Guiloff RJ, Scaravilli F, Harcourt-Webster JN (1989). "Combined HIV-CMV encephalitis presenting with brainstem signs". J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 52 (8): 975–9. PMC 1031837. PMID 2552024.
  8. Kim YS, Hollander H (1993). "Polyradiculopathy due to cytomegalovirus: report of two cases in which improvement occurred after prolonged therapy and review of the literature". Clin Infect Dis. 17 (1): 32–7. PMID 8394748.