The objective of treatment is to stop the virus from copying in the body through the use of antiviral drugs. Some people with CMV pneumonia will need to get medication through a vein (intravenously). Some people might initially need oxygen therapy and breathing support with a ventilator to maintain oxygen until the infection is brought under control.
Antiviral medications stop the virus from copying itself, but do not destroy it. CMV itself suppresses the immune system, and may increase the risk of other infections due to the additional immunosuppression.
Complications of CMV infection in people with AIDS include:
- CMV pneumonia
- Esophageal disease
- Intestinal disease
- Infectious, mononucleosis-like illness (CMV mononucleosis)
- Inflammation of the retina (CMV retinitis)
Complications of CMV pneumonia include:
- Kidney impairment (from drugs used to treat the condition)
- Low white blood cell count (from drugs used to treat the condition)
- Overwhelming infection that doesn’t respond to treatment
- Return of infections
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of CMV pneumonia.
Review Date : 12/1/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.