Cytomegalovirus disease after prophylaxis with oral ganciclovir in renal transplantation: The importance of HLA-DR matching

Mark A. Schnitzler, Jeffrey A. Lowell, S. Paul Hmiel, Karen L. Hardinger, Helen Liapis, Connie S. Ceriotti, Daniel C. Brennan

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59 Scopus citations


This study assessed the incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease and associated outcomes after oral ganciclovir prophylaxis in renal transplantation. A retrospective analysis was performed of all adult renal transplant recipients at a single transplant center transplanted between August 16, 1996, and December 31, 2000. CMV disease prophylaxis included ganciclovir 1000 mg orally thrice daily prescribed for 90 d in D-/R+ cases and 180 d in D+/R- and D+/R+ cases. Forty (9.1%) of 470 patients studied were diagnosed with CMV disease, which varied significantly by CMV serostatus and number of HLA-DR matches. The highest incidence of disease, 26.2%, was in D+/R- patients with zero HLA-DR matches. Five-year graft survival was 56.8% with CMV disease compared with 79.1% without (P < 0.001). Five-year graft survival with CMV disease was 75.9% with one or two HLA-DR matches versus 16.2% with zero HLA-DR matches (P < 0.001). CMV remains an important factor in long-term graft survival after oral ganciclovir prophylaxis. However, we have observed that the adverse impact of CMV disease on graft survival is apparent only in patients with zero HLA-DR matches. These results call for the development of new CMV disease prophylaxis and treatment strategies in patients with zero HLA-DR matches. In addition, organ allocation policies discouraging combining CMV-seropositive donors and zero HLA-DR matches may be worth consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-785
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


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