Association between mortality and cytomegalovirus reactivation during remission induction therapy in patients with rheumatic diseases

Yuichiro Ota, Yuko Kaneko, Tsutomu Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To elucidate the characteristics of patients with rheumatic diseases with cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation. Methods In our study, we consecutively reviewed patients with rheumatic diseases who received remission induction therapy in our institution from January 2012 to March 2016 and enrolled the patients who were evaluated about CMV infection. CMV reactivation was characterised by the detection of polymorphonuclear leukocytes with CMV pp65. The characteristics and clinical courses of the patients with CMV reactivation were compared to those without CMV. Results We observed CMV reactivation in 71 (39.7%, CMV-positive group) out of 179 patients. Age (odds ratio [OR] 1.023, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.002-1.044, p=0.03), lymphocyte counts (OR 0.999, 95% CI 0.999-1.000, p=0.03), and initial prednisolone dose (OR 18.596, 95% CI 2.399-144.157, p<0.01) were considered as independent relevant risk factors for CMV reactivation. Patients in the CMV-positive group showed significantly higher incidences of all infections (48%) and severe infections (31%) than those in the CMV-negative group (48% vs .31%, p=0.037; 31% vs. 6%, p<0.001, respectively). Higher mortality was observed in the CMV-positive group than in the CMV-negative group (14.1% vs. 1.9%). The lymphocyte counts were more relevant to CMV infection and mortality than were the serum IgG levels. Conclusion Our study revealed that CMV reactivation occurred in one third of all patients with rheumatic diseases who were undergoing intensive remission induction therapy, and it was found to be relevant to other severe infections and infection-related deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1324-1330
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


  • Cytomegalovirus reactivation
  • Rheumatic disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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