CMV – pneumonia : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Pneumonia – cytomegalovirus, Cytomegalovirus pneumonia

Definition

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can occur in people who have a suppressed immune system.

See also:

  • CMV esophagitis
  • CMV gastroenteritis
  • CMV retinitis
  • CMV – immunocompromised host
  • Congenital CMV

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

CMV pneumonia is caused by a member of a group of herpes-type viruses. Infection with CMV is very common. Most humans are exposed to CMV in their lifetime, but typically only individuals with weakened immune systems become ill from CMV infection

Usually CMV produces no symptoms, but serious CMV infections can occur in people with weakened immune systems from conditions such as:

  • AIDS
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Organ transplant
  • Chemotherapy or other treatments that suppress the immune system

In people who have had organ and bone marrow transplants, the risk of infection is greatest 5 – 13 weeks after the transplant.

Pictures & Images

CMV pneumonia

Cytomegalovirus is a large herpes-type virus commonly found in humans that can cause serious infections in people with impaired immunity. CMV pneumonia is treated with antiviral medications, which may stop the replication of the virus but will not destroy it.

Antibodies

Antibodies

Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.


Review Date : 12/1/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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