Skip to main content


Log in

Prevalence of Cytomegalovirus Infection in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

  • Original Contributions
  • Published:
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum


Although there has been an increasing number of case reports on inflammatory bowel disease complicated by cytomegalovirus infection, few reports have described its prevalence. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of cytomegalovirus infection in inflammatory bowel disease and clarify the clinicopathologic features of the cases.


We studied 55 biopsy specimens and 39 surgical specimens taken from patients clinically diagnosed as having ulcerative colitis, and 49 biopsy specimens and 30 surgical specimens from patients clinically diagnosed as having Crohn’s disease. In all cases cytomegalovirus infection was histopathologically examined by means of hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical staining to detect inclusion bodies in specimens.


Cytomegalovirus infection was confirmed in 1 of 55 biopsy specimens and in 8 of 39 surgical specimens obtained from the cases with ulcerative colitis. No cytomegalovirus inclusion bodies were exhibited in the 49 biopsy specimens and 30 surgical specimens taken from patients with Crohn’s disease.


Cytomegalovirus infection was detected rather frequently (21 percent) in the surgical specimens of ulcerative colitis, and all cases were steroid resistant. The possibility of cytomegalovirus infection should always be taken into account in patients with ulcerative colitis who are resistant to steroid therapy.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. H Stein SD Slek (1965) ArticleTitleThe incidence of infection with cytomegalovirus in a normal population: a serologic study in greater London J Hyg 63 79–87

    Google Scholar 

  2. RW Goodgame (1993) ArticleTitleGastrointestinal cytomegalovirus disease Ann Int Med 119 924–35

    Google Scholar 

  3. EV Loftus SuffixJr GL Alexander HA Carpenter (1994) ArticleTitleCytomegalovirus as an exacerbating factor in ulcerative colitis J Clin Gastroenterol 19 306–9

    Google Scholar 

  4. C Rachima E Maoz S Apter et al. (1998) ArticleTitleCytomegalovirus infection associated with ulcerative colitis in immunocompetent individuals Postgrad Med 74 486–9

    Google Scholar 

  5. GA Hofkin CD Ting (1995) ArticleTitleCase report: recurrence of chronic ulcerative colitis induced by intercurrent cytomegalic virus infection Md Med 44 1047–8

    Google Scholar 

  6. R Vega X Bertran M Menacho et al. (1999) ArticleTitleCytomegalovirus infection in patients with inflammatory bowel disease Am J Gastroenterol 94 1053–6

    Google Scholar 

  7. RD Powell NE Warner RS Levine et al. (1961) ArticleTitleCytomegalic inclusion disease and ulcerative colitis. Report of a case in a young adult Am J Med 30 334–40

    Google Scholar 

  8. M Cottone G Pietrosi G Martorana et al. (2001) ArticleTitlePrevalence of cytomegalovirus infection in severe refractory ulcerative and Crohn’s colitis Am J Gastroenterol 96 773–5

    Google Scholar 

  9. HS Cooper EC Raffensperger L Jonas et al. (1977) ArticleTitleCytomegalovirus inclusions in patients with ulcerative colitis and toxic dilation requiring colonic resection Gastroenterology 72 1253–6

    Google Scholar 

  10. HS Kaufman AC Kahn C Iacobuzio-Donahue MA Talamini KD Lillemoe SR Hamilton (1999) ArticleTitleCytomegaloviral enterocolitis: clinical associations and outcome Dis Colon Rectum 42 24–30

    Google Scholar 

  11. FS Vogel (1958) ArticleTitleEnhanced susceptibility of proliferating endothelium to salivary gland virus under naturally occurring and experimental conditions Am J Pathol 34 1064–79

    Google Scholar 

  12. T Berk SJ Gordon HY Choi et al. (1985) ArticleTitleCytomegalovirus infection of the colon: a possible role in exacerbation of inflammatory bowel disease Am J Gastroenterol 80 355–60

    Google Scholar 

  13. WT Days ParticleVan E Jonges CA Bruggeman et al. (1989) ArticleTitleDirect induction of MHC class I but not class II expression of endothelial cells by cytomegalovirus infection Transplantation 48 469–72

    Google Scholar 

  14. GK Iwamoto MM Monick BD Clark et al. (1990) ArticleTitleModulation of interleukin-1-beta gene expression by the immediate early genes of human cytomegalovirus J Clin Invest 85 1853–7

    Google Scholar 

  15. KA Papadakis JK Tung SW Binder et al. (2001) ArticleTitleOutcome of cytomegalovirus infections in patients with inflammatory bowel disease Am J Gastroenterol 96 2137–42

    Google Scholar 

  16. DM Dent PJ Duys AR Bird et al. (1975) ArticleTitleCytomegalic virus infection of bowel in adults S Afr Med J 49 669–72

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yoshihisa Takahashi M.D..

About this article

Cite this article

Takahashi, Y., Tange, T. Prevalence of Cytomegalovirus Infection in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients. Dis Colon Rectum 47, 722–726 (2004).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: