A recent study (P Tandon et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017; 23: 551-60) was a systemic review regarding the accuracy of blood-based testing for predicting colonic CMV reactivation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The review identified 9 studies. The overall sensitivity of blood-based testing (either pp65 antigenemia or blood PCR) for CMV was 50.8% and the specificity was 99.9%. Blood PCR was better at 60% sensitivity.
My take: Blood-based tests are not sensitive enough to exclude colonic CMV reactivation. The authors recommend the use of immunohistochemistry or tissue PCR for detecting CMV reactivation in inflammatory bowel disease.
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