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20-10-2010 | Cardiology | Article

Thrombosis more common than expected in CMV patients


Free abstract

MedWire News: Researchers from Israel have found that cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is an independent risk factor for thrombosis and is not as rare as previously thought.

"These findings may bear significant clinical consequences; it is possible that some patients with idiopathic thrombosis actually have thrombosis secondary to acute CMV infection," remark Dan Justo and colleagues from Tel-Aviv University.

The researchers say that sporadic reports of CMV-associated thrombosis in the literature have led to the belief that thrombosis is a rare complication of acute CMV infection, even though the precise incidence of thrombosis in patients with acute CMV infection has never been studied systematically.

To address this, Justo and team retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 140 patients diagnosed with CMV at a tertiary medical center during 2004 and 2005. They were looking for reports of arterial and/or venous thrombosis, and compared their findings with those from a group of 140 age- and gender-matched controls in whom acute CMV infection was excluded.

The researchers report that none of the patients in the control group had thrombosis. In comparison, five (3.6%) patients in the CMV group had arterial thrombosis and four (2.9%) had venous thrombosis.

Arterial thromboses included four splenic infarcts and one renal infarct, while the venous thromboses were categorized as pulmonary embolism, lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT), upper limb DVT, and jugular vein thrombosis.

Binary logistic regression analysis showed that acute CMV infection was independently associated with thrombosis among the whole cohort.

Risk factors for thrombosis, other than acute CMV infection, were present in six (66.6%) of the nine patients with thrombosis and included oral contraceptive use, recent surgery, and immobility due to mechanical ventilation. However, only use of oral contraceptives/hormones and pregnancy were independently associated with thrombosis in this group.

"Thrombosis is not rare in patients with acute CMV infection and it should be acknowledged as a risk factor for thrombosis," conclude Justo and co-authors in the journal Thrombosis Research.

They add that they hope their findings raise awareness of the association between acute CMV infection and thrombosis since it may change the treatment strategy offered to patients with both conditions.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Laura Dean

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