Lessons of the month: Massive gastrointestinal bleeding in a young woman with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

Clin Med (Lond). 2021 Jan;21(1):e100-e102. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2020-0803.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a ubiquitous pathogen, belongs to the herpes virus family and can infect the gastrointestinal (GI) system. The disease is usually noted in immunocompromised patients such as solid organ transplant recipients on immunosuppressive drugs, patients with malignancy receiving chemotherapy, patients with AIDS, patients on steroids for autoimmune disorders, and is rarely seen in immunocompetent individuals. In the GI system, CMV most commonly involves the colon, followed by oesophagus, stomach and, rarely, the small intestine. The GI manifestation of CMV infection is usually anorexia, diarrhoea, and blood in stools, abdominal pain and fever. Very rarely, CMV infection may present with a massive GI bleed. We report a case of 36-year-old pregnant woman with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who presented with massive GI bleeding following delivery, attributed to isolated CMV enteritis.

Keywords: cytomegalovirus; enteritis; massive gastrointestinal bleeding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / complications
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / diagnosis