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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2002 Apr;29(7):595-8.

Ganciclovir is effective for prophylaxis and treatment of human herpesvirus-6 in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Developmental Medicine (Pediatrics) D-5, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.


Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection and disease are serious complications of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Ganciclovir (GCV) is effective against HHV-6 in vitro but the antiviral susceptibility of HHV-6 has not been well characterized in vivo. We retrospectively compared the HHV-6 reactivation rate in pediatric allo-SCT recipients with and without GCV prophylaxis. The HHV-6 reactivation rate at 3 weeks after allo-SCT in patients without prophylactic GCV administration was significantly higher than that in those receiving prophylactic GCV (11/28 vs 0/13, P < 0.01). Five of 36 patients without prophylactic GCV showed clinical manifestations including skin rash, interstitial pneumonitis, persistent thrombocytopenia, enterocolitis and thrombotic microangiopathy, respectively. HHV-6-associated symptoms were observed in one of the 13 patients receiving prophylactic GCV. This patient showed fever, diarrhea and graft rejection concomitantly with a sudden increase of HHV-6 DNA copy number. Patients who received GCV for treatment of HHV-6 infection showed an improvement in symptoms and/or decrease of HHV-6 copy number. Thus, GCV is effective for treating HHV-6 disease after allo-SCT in vivo.

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