Preemptive therapy versus universal prophylaxis with ganciclovir for cytomegalovirus in solid organ transplant recipients.
- N Singh
- Clinical infectious diseases : an official…
BACKGROUND CMV disease remains a major complication of lung transplantation and attempts to prevent it have met with marginal success. In a previous study we documented that universal prophylaxis did not prevent CMV disease but merely delayed it, and was very costly. METHODS We compared the efficacy and cost of pre-emptive therapy with ganciclovir, guided by CMV antigenemia, to that of historic controls that received universal prophylaxis with ganciclovir. CMV antigenemia assay was done routinely and pre-emptive therapy was initiated if greater than 25 CMV positive cells per 100,000 polymorphonuclear cells were found. RESULTS Nineteen patients were enrolled; 6 of of whom received 12 courses of pre-emptive therapy. The incidence of CMV disease was 26% compared to 38% for the historical controls (p = 0.51). None of the patients that received pre-emptive therapy developed CMV disease following that therapy. Antigenemia failed to predict disease in 5 patients that developed it, and thus it is unknown if pre-emptive therapy could have prevented it. There was no mortality in either the study patients or historic controls directly related to CMV. The net savings with pre-emptive therapy was $2569 per patient. CONCLUSIONS We conclude that pre-emptive therapy with ganciclovir is as safe and effective as universal prophylaxis in preventing CMV disease in lung transplant recipients, and is less expensive. The appropriate surveillance technique and timing remain to be determine to optimize the efficacy of pre-emptive therapy.