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Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients and other immunocompromised hosts. Specific neurologic syndromes associated with CMV infection include subacute radiculomyelopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and encephalitis.
CMV-associated central nervous system (CNS) disease occurs most commonly in immunocompromised patients. Histologic evidence of CMV infections in autopsy brain tissue was identified in 20% to 40% of AIDS patients. In 2 separate studies, CMV (DNA) was the most common herpesvirus (29/181, 16/49) detected from cerebrospinal fluid of patients with AIDS.
CNS infections with CMV can also occur in immunocompetent patients. CMV is a leading cause of congenital viral infections worldwide, and laboratory testing by real-time PCR is useful in the diagnosis of neonatal CMV disease.
Rapid qualitative detection of cytomegalovirus DNA
Detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in a specimen supports the clinical diagnosis of infection due to this virus.
Studies indicate that CMV DNA is not detected by PCR in cerebrospinal fluid from patients without central nervous system disease caused by this virus.
A negative result does not eliminate the possibility of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection.
This assay is only to be used for patients with a clinical history and symptoms consistent with CMV infection, and must be interpreted in the context of the clinical picture. This test should not be used to screen asymptomatic patients.
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