BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.11.2011.5254
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

CMV infection complicating the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease in an immunocompetent patient

  1. Lokesh Shahani
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lokesh Shahani, lokesh83{at}


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) affects the gastrointestinal tract commonly; however CMV colitis is uncommon in patients who are not severely immunocompromised. The author reports a 51-year-old Caucasian female who was admitted to the hospital with exacerbation of her chronic diarrhoea. CAT scan of the abdomen and pelvis showed thickening of the wall of the terminal ileum with inflammatory stranding and follow-up colonoscopy showed extensive circumferential ulceration in the terminal ileum. Biopsies confirmed diagnosis of CMV infection and the patient was started on appropriate antimicrobial agents. CMV viremia showed response to the medication; however the patient’s intestinal symptoms failed to improve. Nodular lesions consistent with erythema nodusum were noticed and promethus test was consistent with Crohn’s disease. The patient showed good response to immunosuppressive therapy. CMV infections are known to exacerbate symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and hence Crohn’s disease should be suspected in an immunocompetent patient presenting with CMV ileitis.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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