A prospective randomized trial comparing sequential ganciclovir-high dose acyclovir to high dose acyclovir for prevention of cytomegalovirus disease in adult liver transplant recipients.
Cytomegalovirus disease is an important cause of morbidity following liver transplantation. To date there has not been an effective prophylaxis for CMV disease after liver transplantation. One hundred forty-three patients were randomized to receive either high dose oral acyclovir (800 mg 4 times a day) alone for 3 months after transplantation (acyclovir group) or intravenous ganciclovir (5 mg/kg twice a day) for 14 days followed by high dose oral acyclovir to complete a 3-month regimen (ganciclovir group). Of 139 patients available for evaluation, 43 of 71 (61%) patients from the acyclovir group developed CMV infection compared with 16 of 68 (24%) from the ganciclovir group (relative risk, 3.69; 95% confidence interval, 2.07-6.56; P < 0.00001). Of those randomized, CMV disease was seen in 20 (28%) of the acyclovir group compared with 6 (9%) of the ganciclovir group (relative risk, 5.11; 95% confidence interval, 2.05-12.75; P = 0.0001). The median time to onset of CMV infection was 45 days in the acyclovir group compared with 78 days in the ganciclovir group (P = 0.004). The median time to onset of CMV disease was 40 days in the acyclovir group compared with 78 days in the ganciclovir patients (P = 0.02). With respect to primary CMV infection, there was no difference in the rates in the 2 groups, but tissue invasive disease and recurrent CMV disease were less frequent in the ganciclovir group. It is concluded that a course of 2 weeks of ganciclovir immediately after transplantation followed by high dose oral acyclovir for 10 weeks is superior to a 12-week course of high dose oral acyclovir alone for prevention of both CMV infection and CMV disease after liver transplantation. However, the lack of significant effect in seronegative recipients who received grafts from seropositive donors suggests that other strategies are needed to prevent CMV infection in this high risk population.
Martin, M; Mañez, R; Linden, P; Estores, D; Torre-Cisneros, J; Kusne, S; Ondick, L; Ptachcinski, R; Irish, W; Kisor, D
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