Article: PDF OnlyTreatment of HIV-Related Cytomegalovirus Disease of the Gastrointestinal Tract with FoscarnetBlanshard, ChristineAuthor Information The Kobler Centre, St. Stephen's Clinic, London, England Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: Volume 5 - Issue - p S25-28 Free Abstract Gastrointestinal cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease occurs in a significant proportion of patients with AIDS. A series of 66 AIDS patients with first-episode gastrointestinal CMV disease diagnosed on the basis of clinical and histopathologic findings were treated with foscarnet as first-line therapy at our institution between January 1987 and January 1991. Primary sites of infection were the colon (28 patients) and the esophagus (22 patients). Foscarnet was administered as a continuous infusion of 200 mg/kg (prior to 1988) or as an intermittent infusion of 60 mg/kg t.i.d. or 90 mg/kg b.i.d., with saline hyperhydration accompanying each infusion. Patients were treated initially for 2 weeks, with an additional 1–2 weeks of treatment being given in those not having a complete response during initial treatment; maintenance therapy was given only in cases of concurrent CMV retinitis. Complete response to foscarnet therapy (resolution of symptoms and endoscopic findings) was observed in 17 esophagitis patients (77%) within 3 weeks, with only 4 patients relapsing (at 1–7 months) and none developing colitis or retinitis. Complete response was observed in 16 colitis patients (57%) within 3 weeks, with relapse occurring in 5. Asymptomatic hypocalcemia occurred in 19.7% of patients and penile ulceration occurred in 6.1%; increases in serum creatinine were observed in five patients (7.6%), but did not require discontinuation of treatment. These findings indicate that foscarnet is an effective first-line treatment for gastrointestinal CMV infection. They also suggest that maintenance therapy with foscarnet may not be required in all patients. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.