Herpesviruses I and II, varicella-zoster virus, and CMV can all cause esophagitis; particularly common in immunocompromised pts (e.g., AIDS). Odynophagia, dysphagia, fever, and bleeding are symptoms and signs. Diagnosis is made by endoscopy with biopsy, brush cytology, and culture.

Treatment: Viral Esophagitis

Disease is usually self-limited in the immunocompetent person; viscous lidocaine can relieve pain; in immunocompetent pts, herpes and varicella esophagitis are treated with acyclovir, 200 mg PO five times a day for 7−10 days; in prolonged cases and in immunocompromised hosts, treatment is with acyclovir, 400 mg PO five times a day for 14–21 days, famciclovir, 500 mg PO tid, or valacyclovir 1 g PO tid for 7 days. CMV is treated with ganciclovir, 5 mg/kg IV q12h, until healing occurs, which may take weeks. Oral valganciclovir (900 mg bid) is an effective alternative to parenteral treatment. In nonresponders, foscarnet, 90 mg/kg IV q12h for 21 days, may be effective.

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