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Transplantation. 2000 Jun 27;69(12):2566-73.

Human herpesvirus-6 in liver transplant recipients: role in pathogenesis of fungal infections, neurologic complications, and outcome.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, VA Medical Center, and Thomas E Starzl Transplantation Institute, Pennsylvania 15240, USA.



The clinical impact and relevance of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection in liver transplant recipients, has not been fully discerned.


A prospective study of 80 consecutive liver transplant recipients was performed using surveillance cultures for HHV-6 at weeks 2, 3, 4, and 6 after transplantation. Viral isolation was used for the detection of HHV-6.


HHV-6 infection occurred in 39% (31 of 80) of the patients. Patients with HHV-6 infection were more likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma as underlying liver disease (P=.09). Mental status changes of unidentifiable etiology were significantly more likely to occur in patients with HHV-6 compared with those without (26%, 9 of 31 vs. 6%, 3 of 49, P=.008). HHV-6 infection was an independent predictor of invasive fungal infections (odds ratio 8.3, 95% confidence interval, 1.2-58.0, P=.03). A significant association between HHV-6 infection and CMV infection after transplantation, CMV recipient and donor serostatus, rejection, or fever of unknown origin, could not be documented. Mortality at last follow-up in patients with HHV-6 infection (29%, 9 of 31) was significantly greater than those without HHV-6 (6%, 3 of 49, P=.008).


Central nervous system complications of unknown etiology after liver transplantation may be related to HHV-6 infection. HHV-6 viremia was an independently significant predictor of invasive fungal infections and was associated with late mortality in liver transplantation recipients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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