Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections are common after transplantation, but usually successfully treated with antivirals. In this study, the detection of CMV-DNA in peripheral blood leukocytes was monitored and compared with CMVpp65-antigenemia in liver transplant patients receiving ganciclovir treatment. Twenty adult liver transplant recipients were frequently monitored for CMV up to 6 months after transplantation. CMV infections were diagnosed by pp65-antigenemia and the same specimens were used for CMV-DNA in situ hybridization. Altogether 202 blood specimens were analyzed. During the first 6 months, 14/20 patients developed CMV antigenemia and 11 were treated with ganciclovir. In all patients, CMV-DNA was detected before antigenemia (mean 15 days earlier). All patients responded to ganciclovir and pp65-antigenemia disappeared. However, 8/11 demonstrated persistence of CMV-DNA for up to 6 months. Recurrences appeared in 6/11 patients. In conclusion, detection of CMV-DNA preceded pp65-antigenemia. Persistence of CMV-DNA demonstrates that the virus is not eliminated by ganciclovir and recurrences can be expected.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2003
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