The prevalence of cytomegalovirus in the burn population is high. However, its role in the clinical management of burn patients is still being defined. This report documents a 41-year-old man who developed cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis after being admitted with a 72% burn. Before the administration of ganciclovir, the authors had difficulty controlling his quantitative wound cultures with serial debridements, topical agents, and systemic antibiotics for known pathogens, which led to graft loss. After the ganciclovir was given, his quantitative wound cultures improved without changing the authors' topical agents or systemic antibiotics and had improved graft take. Whether CMV infection alone contributed to an increased morbidity in this patient or the combination of bacteria/fungal infection with CMV led to a synergistic effect is still not clearly understood. CMV may have contributed to a dysfunction in his cell mediated immunity, which, in turn, lowered the bacterial and fungal load necessary to cause graft loss. Patients who continue to do poorly despite adequate treatment for known pathogens may need to be screened for CMV and treated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine