Serial myocardial biopsy specimens, taken up to the time of serological evidence of primary cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in 22 heart transplant patients, were examined and compared with those taken over similar times after transplantation in 21 patients who did not develop CMV infection. None of these 43 patients had serological evidence of CMV infection before their heart transplantation. There was no evidence of an increased cellular infiltrate in the myocardium at the time of the active CMV infection, even though the donor heart is the likeliest source of infection, nor was there any change in myocyte, interstitial cell, or vascular endothelial cell nuclei to identify active CMV infection.
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