Cytomegalovirus infection in the normal host.
CMV mononucleosis often resembles EBV infectious mononucleosis; however, certain features of the history and physical may help to distinguish CMV from EBV. While CMV mononucleosis is usually self-limited, certain laboratory abnormalities may persist for months or years after the patient has recovered. Previous reports on CMV in the non-immunocompromised host have rarely described systemic complications. We have reviewed 10 cases of CMV with systemic manifestations at one institution over a 15-year period. These patients had prolonged fevers (often greater than three weeks) and the diagnosis was often unsuspected during the early part of the illness. While two patients required mechanical ventilation, all patients had self-limiting disease and survived. When CMV is suspected and diagnosed early in the course, numerous diagnostic (and potentially dangerous) tests can be avoided in a viral illness in which prolonged fever is common.
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