Clinical Communications: Adult| Volume 57, ISSUE 2, e49-e51, August 2019

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Concomitant Infection With Epstein-Barr Virus and Cytomegalovirus Infection Leading to Portal Vein Thrombosis



      Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is well recognized as a complication of hepatic cirrhosis and is likely to be suspected in patients with hypercoagulable syndromes, however, it is rarely recognized as a possibility in otherwise healthy patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. We report a case of a healthy 27-year-old man with fever and weight loss who was found to have PVT in the setting of acute EBV and CMV infection.

      Case Report

      A 27-year-old man with no known medical history presented to the emergency department (ED) for fever for 18 days. Patient reported daily high fevers associated with chills, night sweats, generalized myalgia, nausea with appetite loss, and unquantified weight loss. Vital signs showed temperature of 100.5°F. Patient reported discomfort upon palpation of abdomen on physical examination. There was no lymphadenopathy, cardiac murmur, rash, or jaundice. Laboratory tests revealed titers diagnostic of acute EBV and CMV infection with elevated liver function tests and leukocytosis with lymphocyte predominance (white blood cell count 15,400/μL; 43% atypical lymphocytes). Computed tomography of the abdomen/pelvis with i.v. contrast showed a filling defect in the anterior portal vein. The patient was admitted with the ED diagnosis of PVT secondary to viral infection and was initiated on anticoagulation.

      Why Should An Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Although rarely considered, CMV has been associated with PVT in up to 6% of cases, and EBV infection has been implicated as well. Emergency physicians should be aware of this potentially serious complication of these common viral infections and consider imaging modalities to rule out thrombosis, if appropriate.


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