Fludarabine-based reduced intensity conditioning transplants have a higher incidence of cytomegalovirus reactivation compared with myeloablative transplants.Bone Marrow Transplant. 2010 May; 45(5):849-55.BM
Two hundred and ten adult CMV seropositive patients undergoing myeloablative conditioning (MAC) [n=127] or reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) [n=83] transplants (HCT) were serially monitored for CMV reactivation and disease, using a qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by quantitation with pp65 antigen or quantitative PCR. CMV reactivation occurred in 53 RIC (63.9%) and 61 MAC (48%; P=0.03) transplants at a median of 47 days (range: 24-1977). Risk factors identified included acute GVHD (P=0.001), RIC regimen (P=0.03), unrelated donor (P=0.02), use of anti-thymocyte globulin/alemtuzumb (P=0.02) and use of bone marrow in MAC transplants (P=0.011). On multivariate analysis, RIC transplants and acute GVHD remained independent predictors. Treatment with antiviral drugs resulted in CMV negativity rates of 86.8% in MAC and 88.6% in RIC transplants. CMV disease occurred in 10.8% of RIC and 4.7% of MAC transplants (P=0.15). At a median follow-up of 26 months (range: 3-88), 48.1% of RIC and 50.3% of MAC transplants are alive. The higher incidence of CMV reactivation among RIC transplants suggests the need for novel prophylactic or pre-emptive strategies in this high-risk group of patients.