Detection of Cytomegalovirus in Intestinal Tissue of Infants with Necrotizing Enterocolitis or Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation

To determine the frequency of detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in surgical or autopsy intestinal tissue from infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) or spontaneous intestinal perforation (SIP) of the small bowel.

CMV was detected by PCR or IHC in 7 (4%) of 178 infants with surgical or autopsy- confirmed NEC (n = 6) or SIP (n = 1). Among 143 NEC cases (123 surgical, 20 autopsy), CMV was detected in 6 (4%): 4 (2 surgical, 2 autopsy) by both PCR and IHC, and 2 (surgical) by PCR only. Among 35 SIP cases (32 surgical, 3 autopsy), 1 (3%) surgical case was positive, by PCR only. CMV-associated NEC cases had lower median gestational age, birth weight , and platelet count compared with CMV-negative cases, respectively. No association was found with receipt of maternal milk, age at NEC diagnosis, male sex, cholestasis, or mortality.

CMV was detected in intestinal tissue from 4% of NEC or SIP cases (NEC, 4%; SIP, 3%). Lower gestational age, lower birth weight, and thrombocytopenia were significantly associated with detection of CMV in NEC or SIP cases