The impact of ganciclovir-resistant cytomegalovirus infection after lung transplantation

Robert M. Kruger, William D. Shannon, Max Q. Arens, John P. Lynch, Gregory A. Storch, Elbert P. Trulock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Background. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) resistance to ganciclovir has become increasingly common in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients but has only rarely been reported in recipients of solid organ transplants. Methods. A retrospective study of ganciclovir susceptibility testing of CMV isolates recovered from lung transplant recipients was performed. Patients with CMV isolates having partial (1<IC50<3 μg/ml) or full resistance (IC50≥3 μg/ml) to ganciclovir determined by plaque reduction assay were included in a case-control study to identify risk factors for ganciclovir resistance. Results. Between 2/91 and 5/98, 18 patients (5.2% of patients transplanted) were found to have CMV infections with some degree of ganciclovir resistance (4 partially, 14 fully resistant). More positive viral blood cultures (3.2±2.5 vs. 1.6±1.4 CMV positive cultures, P=0.02) and more episodes of CMV Pneumonitis (0.2±0.23 vs. 0.10±0.17 episodes/bronchoscopy, P=0.02) occurring before the detection of resistance were seen among resistant patients than controls. Ganciclovir-resistant patients received more antithymocyte globulin during induction (70±44 vs. 45±39 mg/kg, P=0.03) and received ganciclovir for a greater number of days (79±52 vs. 64±53 days, P=0.005) before the detection of resistance than controls. Ganciclovir- resistant patients had a shorter survival and an earlier onset of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome compared with patients in the transplant database at Washington University. Conclusions. Ganciclovir-resistant CMV infection is a serious complication of solid organ transplantation associated with more episodes of viremia, more frequent disease, earlier onset of bronchiolitis obliterans and shorter survival. The use of antithymocyte globulin and prolonged exposure to ganciclovir are risk factors for the development of ganciclovir resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1279
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 15 1999


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