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Acute Idiopathic Polyneuritis Caused by Cytomegalovirus

Sherwin Kabins, MD; Robert Keller, PhD; Ricki Peitchel, RT; Mir Akif Ali, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(1):100-101. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630010080016.
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The herpes viruses of man, ie, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex, varicella-zoster, and cytomegalovirus (CMV), have been incriminated as causes of acute idiopathic polyneuritis (Guillain-Barré syndrome).1-4 The evidence for the causative role of CMV has been based on rising or elevated titers of complement-fixing antibodies, isolation of virus from urine or saliva, or both.4-9 However, CMV has been recovered from urine and saliva of apparently healthy individuals.10 In addition, moderately elevated complement-fixation (CF) antibody titers can persist for years following a subclinical primary CMV infection. Therefore, previous evidence that associated CMV to acute idiopathic polyneuritis must be considered with some reservation.

We report a patient with acute idiopathic polyneuritis from whom CMV was isolated from the peripheral blood buffy coat (PBBC) shortly after the onset of neurologic symptoms. In addition, specific CMV-IgM antibodies were detected in the serum. Concomitant with the cessation of viremia, CMV first was recovered


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