We performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy after heart transplantation to determine the clinical setting in which upper gastrointestinal cytomegalovirus disease is identified. No gastrointestinal cytomegalovirus disease was found prior to transplant 51 and this period (from transplant 1 to 50) corresponded to a time when significantly fewer esophagogastroduodenoscopies included biopsy. Patients in whom cytomegalovirus was identified were more likely to have been CMV seronegative and to have received a heart from a seropositive donor (60% vs 20%, P=0.029). In addition, patients with cytomegalovirus used aspirin more commonly (90% vs 31%, P=0.001), and underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy earlier after transplantation (123d vs 652d, P=0.029). We conclude that factors that increase the use of esophagogastroduodenoscopy and biopsy in the early transplant period increase the likelihood of identifying cytomegalovirus in gastrointestinal tissue. However, the clinical course and significance of cytomegalovirus identified in the upper gastrointestinal tract in heart transplant patients may be difficult to discern.
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