Cytomegalovirus Colitis: An Uncommon Mimicker of Common Colitides

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016 Aug;140(8):854-8. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2015-0176-RS.


Cytomegalovirus latency, though ubiquitous in the human population, is known to cause colitis in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts. Furthermore, the clinical, endoscopic, and histologic appearance of cytomegalovirus colitis can mimic that of inflammatory bowel disease, an extremely well-documented disease. In this context, though many reports have looked at inflammatory bowel disease with superimposed cytomegalovirus infection, less attention has been paid to cytomegalovirus as a primary cause of isolated colitis. Owing to the rarity of this phenomenon, it is important to consider this diagnosis and implement proper testing to avoid misdiagnosis and mismanagement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Colitis / diagnosis*
  • Colitis / drug therapy
  • Colitis / virology
  • Cytomegalovirus / drug effects
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Cytomegalovirus / physiology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / virology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ganciclovir / therapeutic use
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ganciclovir