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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2009 Mar;24(3):1034-8. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfn675. Epub 2008 Dec 4.

The effect of low-dose cidofovir on the long-term outcome of polyomavirus-associated nephropathy in renal transplant recipients.

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Division of Nephrology, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.



Polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PVAN) has an unfavourable impact on graft survival. The cornerstone of therapy is early reduction of immunosuppressive medications; however, the rate of graft failure is still high. Antiviral drugs, such as cidofovir, are thought to have therapeutic effects, but the benefits of cidofovir in retarding the deterioration of PVAN are still a controversial issue.


Fourteen renal kidney recipients were diagnosed to have biopsy-proven PVAN between 2001 and 2006 in Chung-Shan Medical University Center with nearly 600 renal transplant recipients. After the diagnosis of PVAN, all patients were treated with a reduction of their original immunosuppressive medications with/without converting tacrolimus to cyclosporine. Eight of the 14 patients agreed to receive low-dose cidofovir (0.5 mg/kg) every 2 weeks for a total of six doses.


During 30 +/- 18 months of follow-up, three (37%) patients in the cidofovir-treated and three (50%) patients in the non-cidofovir-treated group experienced graft loss (P = 0.64). The rejection rate before PVAN diagnosis or other baseline characteristics of the patients between two groups were not significantly different. The long-term survival rate to graft loss and major graft functional decline with Kaplan-Meier analysis between the two groups were not significantly different (P = 0.898 and P = 0.243). In all demographic and clinical characteristics, we found that there was a tendency towards long-term major graft functional decline in the patients with acute rejection prior to PVAN diagnosis (P = 0.04).


We concluded that (1) there was no obvious effect of low-dose cidofovir on long-term graft survival in patients with PVAN, and (2) acute rejection prior to PVAN diagnosis was a potential risk factor for poorer long-term graft outcome.

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