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Arch Surg. 1988 Dec;123(12):1502-8.

Prophylaxis of serious cytomegalovirus infection in renal transplant candidates using live human cytomegalovirus vaccine. Interim results of a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104.


We report the interim results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of prophylactic, live, attenuated cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccination (Towne strain of CMV) of renal transplant candidates (RTCs). One hundred seventy-two RTCs were treated and subsequently underwent transplantation and followed up for at least one year and up to five years after transplantation. Eighty-eight RTCs received vaccine, and 84 received placebo. Results were analyzed according to the prevaccination serologic status (anti-CMV antibody titer) of the recipient (R- or R+) and the donor (D- or D+). The overall incidence of CMV disease was highest in the R-D+ group and almost absent in the R-D- group. There was no difference in the incidence of CMV infection or disease between vaccinated and respective placebo control recipients in either the R-D+, R+D+, R+D-, or R-D- groups. In contrast, the severity of CMV disease was significantly decreased in R-D+ vaccinees vs R-D+ placebo-treated recipients. Moreover, in the R-D+ group, one- and five-year cadaver renal allograft actuarial survival rates were 73% and 62%, respectively, for CMV vaccinees vs 40% and 25%, respectively, for control placebo patients. We conclude that seronegative cadaver RTCs may benefit from vaccination with live, attenuated, Towne strain CMV vaccine before transplantation.

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