Comparison of cytomegalovirus antigenemia and shell vial culture in allogeneic marrow transplantation recipients receiving ganciclovir prophylaxis.Bone Marrow Transplant. 1997 Jan; 19(1):37-41.BM
We prospectively monitored 61 allogeneic BMT patients for evidence of CMV infection and disease starting 7 days prior to transplant until day 110 after transplant. Patients receiving pre- and post-transplantation ganciclovir prophylaxis were followed for the incidence of infection by the CMV antigenemia assay and shell vial cultures. The median age of all patients was 32 years (range 5-54 years). Fourteen (25%) of 57 evaluable patients became CMV antigenemia or culture positive. The incidence of culture or antigenemia positivity in CMV seropositive or seronegative patients with a seropositive donor was 29% (14 of 49 patients). The antigenemia assay became positive a median of 29 days (range 12-89 days) after BMT as compared to 46 days (range 26-98 days) by shell vial assay (P < 0.001). There were no cases of CMV disease in the first 110 days after transplant. This study demonstrates that despite the use of prophylactic ganciclovir, BMT patients developed CMV infection but did not progress to disease in this study, the CMV antigenemia assay may be used to monitor for CMV infection during prophylaxis, and the current regimens for CMV prophylaxis with ganciclovir may require further evaluation to determine an optimal regimen to prevent CMV infection.