Cytomegalovirus infection following liver transplantation: review of the literature.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a major cause of problems following solid organ transplantation, accounting for a significant increase in morbidity and affiliated costs. Infection with CMV following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is commonly seen as a result of marked cell-mediated immunosuppression and is an independent risk factor for opportunistic and fungal infections. The role of CMV infection in acute cellular or chronic rejection remains unclear. Recent advances in diagnostic modalities, particularly the use of the antigenemia assay and the polymerase chain reaction, have provided ways to quantitate viral load during infection or disease, as well as providing a useful marker of response to therapy. Ganciclovir remains the best antiviral agent for the treatment of CMV disease, but the use of combination therapy with other antivirals or CMV immunoglobulin may improve outcome for patients with severe disease. The ideal prophylactic therapy for patients undergoing OLT remains to be identified, as tested regimens have shown variable efficacy when analyzed with regard to defined risk groups. The use of risk group-specific prophylaxis may prove to be most successful, however, in terms of efficacy and cost savings. Future advances in basic CMV virology and transplant immunology will be essential in defining rational approaches to control and prevention of CMV infection and disease following liver transplantation.
Kanj, SS; Sharara, AI; Clavien, PA; Hamilton, JD
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)