Journal Article

Efficacy and safety of lowering immunosuppression to treat CMV infection in renal transplant recipients on valaciclovir prophylaxis: a pilot study

Dany Anglicheau, Alexandre Lautrette, Catherine Scieux, Martin Flamant, Frédéric Morinet and Christophe Legendre

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 18, issue 8, pages 1654-1656
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfg251
Efficacy and safety of lowering immunosuppression to treat CMV infection in renal transplant recipients on valaciclovir prophylaxis: a pilot study

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Background. Routine cytomegalovirus (CMV)-pp65 antigenaemia monitoring shows that some patients will develop pp65 antigenaemia during valaciclovir prophylaxis or after cessation of treatment. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lowering immunosuppression in kidney transplant recipients who exhibit mildly symptomatic CMV infections while on valaciclovir prophylaxis.

Methods. We selected 12 patients who experienced mildly symptomatic CMV infections defined as a positive CMV-pp65 antigenaemia test associated with either neutropenia, asthenia or arthralgia, but no fever. All of them received prophylaxis with valaciclovir for at least 3 months. Testing for CMV-pp65 antigenaemia was performed weekly for 6 months.

Results. The mildly symptomatic infections occurred at a median interval of 69 days after transplantation—during prophylaxis in eight cases and after valaciclovir discontinuation in the other four cases. All of them were effectively managed by lowering immunosuppressive therapy, leading to the disappearance of symptoms and CMV antigenaemia reduction. No immunological complication or recurrence of CMV infection or disease was noted. I.v. ganciclovir never became necessary.

Conclusion. The mildly symptomatic CMV infections occurring in valaciclovir-treated patients may be managed efficiently and without immunologic complication by lowering immunosuppressive therapy.

Keywords: cytomegalovirus; immunosuppression; kidney transplantation; preemptive therapy; valaciclovir

Journal Article.  1421 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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