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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1998 Sep;9(9):1697-708.

Clinical practice guidelines: prevention of cytomegalovirus disease after renal transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Wellesley Central Hospital Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To develop a set of comprehensive, standardized, evidence-based guidelines for the use of antiviral therapy to prevent cytomegalovirus disease in adult patients having undergone renal transplantation.


The use of medication, at the time of induction therapy or at the earliest sign of viremia. Treatments were evaluated by patient and donor serologic groups and the induction regimen used.


The control of symptoms and features of cytomegalovirus disease over the first 6 mo to 1 yr after transplantation.


Articles, compiled using a MEDLINE search from 1976 to July 1997, were reviewed by representatives of nephrology, microbiology, pharmacy, and epidemiology. Additional information was obtained from recent review articles and conference abstracts, and from experts in the field.


The evidence-based methods and values of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examinations were used. High value was placed on studies with a randomized controlled design and blinded outcome observers. Study quality was classified as poor when cointervention was present (especially with regard to immunosuppressive regimens), when more than 20% of patients were lost to follow-up, and when intention to treat analysis was not performed. Recommendations were made with a graded system (grades A and B: Use of the intervention advised, based on high or fair quality evidence, respectively; grades D and E: Use of the intervention not advised, based on high or fair quality evidence, respectively: grade C: No recommendation made because of insufficient or conflicting evidence).


(1) Seropositive recipient; donor seropositive or seronegative; immunosuppression with antilymphocyte products. Prophylaxis with antiviral therapy recommended (grade A recommendation). (2) Seronegative recipient; seropositive donor; immunosuppression with antilymphocyte products. Prophylaxis with antiviral therapy recommended (grade A recommendation) (3) Seronegative recipient; seropositive donor; conventional immunosuppression. Prophylaxis with antiviral therapy recommended (grade B recommendation). (4) Seronegative recipient; seronegative donor; any immunosuppressive regimen. No prophylaxis with antiviral therapy required (grade D/E recommendation). (5) Seropositive recipient: donor seropositive or seronegative; conventional immunosuppression. Prophylaxis left to the discrimination of the physician in charge (grade C recommendation).

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