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High frequency of gastroduodenal cytomegalovirus infection in liver transplant patients

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Halme L, Lempinen M, Arola J, Sarkio S, Höckerstedt K, Lautenschlager I. High frequency of gastroduodenal cytomegalovirus infection in liver transplant patients. APMIS 2008;116:99–106.

The prevalence and significance of cytomegalovirus (CMV) detected in biopsy specimens from the gastroduodenal mucosa of liver transplant patients, patients with chronic or acute liver failure and immunocompetent patients with dyspeptic symptoms were evaluated. 80 liver transplant patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms, 132 patients with chronic and 25 with acute liver failure, and 33 immunocompetent, dyspeptic patients underwent oesophagogastroduodenoscopies, with biopsies from the duodenum and stomach. CMV was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in frozen sections, using a monoclonal antibody against CMV-specific antigens (pp65 matrix protein), and in paraffin sections by a monoclonal antibody against delayed early protein (p52). 71% of the liver transplant patients, 45% of the patients with chronic liver disease, 20% with acute liver failure, and 45% of the immunocompetent, dyspeptic patients had CMV-positive findings in the gastroduodenal mucosa (liver transplant patients vs other groups, p<0.01). Histopathological findings in CMV-positive samples were focal inflammation, including increased inflammation of the lamina propria, infiltrating leukocytes intra-epithelially, regenerative changes in the epithelial cells and inclusion bodies. In conclusion, CMV-positive cells and inclusions are often found in the gastroduodenal mucosa of liver transplant patients, as well as in patients suffering from chronic liver disease or even in otherwise healthy patients with dyspeptic symptoms.

Keywords: Acute liver failure; chronic liver disease; cytomegalovirus; gastroduodenal mucosa; liver transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Transplantation and Liver Surgery, and Transplant Unit Research Laboratory, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki 2: Department of Pathology, Helsinki University Hospital (HUSLAB) and University of Helsinki, Helsinki

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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