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Hemolytic anemia due to acute cytomegalovirus infection in an immunocompetent adult: a case report and review of the literature

Fabrizio Taglietti*, Cecilia M Drapeau, Elisabetta Grilli, Alessandro Capone, Pasquale Noto, Simone Topino and Nicola Petrosillo

Author Affiliations

2ndInfectious Diseases Division, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani", Via Portuense, 292-00149 Rome, Italy

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2010, 4:334  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-4-334

Published: 21 October 2010



Cytomegalovirus is a common virus responsible for a wide range of clinical manifestations. Hemolysis is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication of cytomegalovirus infection, described mostly in immunocompromised patients, the pathogenesis of which is still unclear.

We performed a review of the literature regarding cases of hemolytic anemia during acute cytomegalovirus infection in apparently immunocompetent individuals. We searched for relevant articles in PubMed for the period of 1980 through 2008.

Case presentation

We describe a case of Coombs-negative hemolytic anemia in a 44-year-old Caucasian immunocompetent man with acute cytomegalovirus infection.


Clinicians should consider cytomegalovirus infection in the differential diagnosis of hemolytic anemia in immunocompetent adults. Possible therapeutic options include antiviral therapy and steroids, although the best treatment strategy is still controversial.