A 30-year-old nonimmunocompromised woman developed chronic gastrointestinal dysmotility as a consequence of acute cytomegalovirus infection. The acute nature of the infection was documented by high immunoglobulin M antibody titer to cytomegalovirus (CMV); the chronicity of the infection was shown by persistence of CMV in biopsy specimens of her gastrointestinal tract over a 2 1/2 -year period. Gastrointestinal dysmotility was confirmed by delayed emptying on gastric nuclear scintigraphy, by retrograde propagation of migrating myoelectric complexes on small intestinal manometry, and by presence of tachygastria on cutaneous electrogastrography. The patient's nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and early satiety resolved after a short course of treatment with leuprolide acetate but returned after medication was discontinued. Her symptoms persisted despite clearance of CMV from the gastrointestinal tract after a course of treatment with ganciclovir. These observations show that acute CMV infection can cause gastrointestinal dysmotility in nonimmunocompromised individuals and that the disturbance in gastrointestinal motor function may persist for years after viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract has been eradicated.
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