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J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181(2):721-4.

Uninfected and cytomegalic endothelial cells in blood during cytomegalovirus infection: effect of acute rejection.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, University Hospital Groningen, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands.


After transplantation, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections can cause vascular damage to both the graft and the host. To study a possible relationship between the degree of vascular injury, clinical symptoms of HCMV infection, and transplant rejection, the appearance and numbers of endothelial cells (ECs) in blood of 54 kidney transplant recipients were investigated in a prospective clinical study. Two types of endothelial cells were identified: cytomegalic ECs (CECs) were detected in patients with moderate or high HCMV antigenemia, and uninfected ECs were observed in patients with and without HCMV infection. The incidence of either CECs, ECs, or the combination of both was associated with HCMV-related clinical symptoms (P<.01). Remarkably, the occurrence of rejection episodes before HCMV infection was an important risk factor for the occurrence of ECs in blood (ECs, CECs, or both) during HCMV infection (P<.001).

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