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Pediatr Transplant. 2007 May;11(3):312-8.

Safety and efficacy of prolonged cytomegalovirus prophylaxis with intravenous ganciclovir in pediatric and young adult lung transplant recipients.

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Division of Allergy/Pulmonary, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


CMV infection causes morbidity and mortality after transplantation. Despite a wide range of prevention strategies among pediatric lung transplant programs, the optimal duration of prophylactic therapy against CMV infection in pediatric lung transplantation is unknown. To assess the feasibility, safety, and short-term efficacy of extending intravenous ganciclovir administration from six wk duration to 12 wk duration in pediatric lung transplant recipients. An open-label pilot study was performed in primary pediatric lung transplant recipients with donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity. Intravenous ganciclovir was given for 12 wk post-transplantation. Subjects were tracked for protocol completion. Toxicities monitored included renal dysfunction, myelosuppression, gastrointestinal and neurological complications, as well as infection related to indwelling catheter placement. Serial CMV levels were measured to determine short-term efficacy of the intervention. Nine of nine subjects enrolled completed the pilot study. Subjects' ages ranged from six to 18 yr. Indications for lung transplantation included cystic fibrosis (n = 7), idiopathic pulmonary hypertension (n = 1), and complex congenital heart disease with pulmonary hypertension (n = 1). Seven subjects underwent deceased donor bilateral lung transplantation and two subjects underwent heart-lung transplantation. No subjects had protocol-defined drug toxicity. No episodes of neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, or renal toxicity occurred. Five subjects had catheter-related infections (three after week 12 of ganciclovir). Seven of nine subjects had CMV detected by PCR (four prior to ganciclovir completion) with only one subject having a positive viral culture for CMV viremia (prior to ganciclovir completion). No subjects had UL-97 mutation for ganciclovir resistance detected. The use of prolonged prophylactic administration of ganciclovir for 12 wk duration is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment to prevent CMV viremia based on viral culture in at risk pediatric lung transplant recipients. Further clinical studies are underway to determine optimal CMV prevention strategies.

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