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N Engl J Med. 1979 Jun 14;300(24):1345-9.

Controlled clinical trial of prophylactic human-leukocyte interferon in renal transplantation. Effects on cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus infections.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of interferon prophylaxis against viral infections was conducted in renal-transplant recipients receiving standard immunosuprressive therapy with or without antithymocyte globulin. Interferon was administered for six weeks, beginning on the day of transplantation. Cytomegalovirus excretion began earlier and viremia was more frequent in placebo-treated than in interferon-treated patients. Cytomegalovirus viremia correlated with clinical syndromes was more frequent in recipients of antithymocyte globulin. In contrast, neither interferon nor antithymocyte globulin altered excretion of herpes simplex virus. Reversible leukopenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in seven interferon recipients. Patient and graft survival were comparable in interferon and placebo groups. There preliminary results suggest that a six-week course of prophylactic interferon delays shedding of cytomegalovirus and decreases the incidence of viremia after transplantation. In contrast, antithymocyte globulin appears to increase the severity of infection from cytomegalovirus among these patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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