Antiviral therapy in steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis with cytomegalovirus: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Tushar Shukla, Siddharth Singh, Edward V. Loftus, David H. Bruining, Jeffrey D. McCurdy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: The role of antiviral therapy in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) with cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains unclear. We therefore performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association between antiviral therapy and the risk of colectomy. Methods: Multiple electronic databases were searched systematically through July 2014 for studies reporting the risk of colectomy in patients with UC with CMV stratified by treatment with antiviral agents. Colectomy rates were assessed for the overall cohort and stratified by corticosteroid (CS) refractoriness. We estimated summary odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, using random-effects model, and used Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria to appraise the quality of evidence. Results: Fifteen observational studies (333 patients with UC with CMV, 43.2% treated with antiviral agents) were identified, of which 8 stratified patients according to CS-refractory disease (55.4% treated with antiviral agents). Antiviral therapy resulted in a significantly lower risk of colectomy in patients with CS-refractory disease (odds ratio, 0.20; 95% confidence interval, 0.08-0.49; I 2 0%) but not in the overall population of patients with UC (odds ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.31-2.76; I 2 65). The quality evidence was low. The results were stable when restricting the analysis to patients with a tissue diagnosis of CMV and studies that defined CS-refractory disease as a failure to respond to intravenous CS. Conclusions: Antiviral therapy may benefit a subgroup of patients with UC who are refractory to CS. Further prospective trials are required to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2718-2725
Number of pages8
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 25 2015


  • antiviral therapy
  • colectomy
  • cytomegalovirus
  • ganciclovir
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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