Cytomegalovirus pp65 antigenemia-guided pre-emptive treatment with ganciclovir after allogeneic stem transplantation: a single-center experience.Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Nov; 22(9):899-904.BM
The optimal prophylactic strategy for cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has not yet been established. The aim of this study was to analyze our single-center experience with a uniform protocol of CMV antigenemia-guided pre-emptive treatment with ganciclovir (GCV) after allografting. Fifty-two consecutive adult patients, 48 of them transplanted from HLA-identical matched related donors were included. T cell-depleted marrow or peripheral blood were used in 21 cases. After engraftment, weekly blood samples were tested for CMV pp65 antigenemia and viremia (conventional cultures) until day +100. GCV was started if CMV antigenemia and/or CMV viremia were detected. CMV infection (CMV-I) was found in 19 patients (37%). Seven patients suffered from CMV disease (CMV-D), three colitis and four pneumonias. There was one death directly related to CMV-D and three further cases died from refractory GVHD with CMV-D. Only one patient developed CMV pneumonia without any previous positive antigenemia and/or viremia. Multivariate analysis identified grades II-IV acute GVHD (P = 0.02) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (P = 0.03) to be risk factors for developing CMV-I. In conclusion, this monitoring protocol allowed early treatment of CMV-I without progression to CMV-D. Pre-emptive therapy had the additional advantage of avoiding GCV administration in most of our allograft recipients.