The presence of cytomegalovirus nucleic acids in arterial walls of atherosclerotic and nonatherosclerotic patients

Am J Pathol. 1989 May;134(5):1151-7.


The presence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) nucleic acids was demonstrated in abdominal aortas and femoral arteries of patients with and without atherosclerosis by dot blot and in situ DNA hybridization using a DNA probe derived from immediate early genomic regions. Viral antigens could not be detected by immunohistochemistry and infectious virus could not be recovered from the arterial wall by virus isolation techniques. The high percentage (55%) of vascular wall specimens containing CMV nucleic acids, in atherosclerotic as well as in control material and the location of CMV-containing cells in arteries without gross changes indicative of atherosclerosis suggest that the human arterial wall may be a site of latency for this virus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Aorta, Abdominal / microbiology
  • Arteries / microbiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / microbiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics*
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins*
  • Immunoblotting
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Viral
  • DNA, Viral
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • immediate-early proteins, cytomegalovirus