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Pediatr Transplant. 2010 Feb;14(1):67-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2008.01120.x. Epub 2009 Jan 18.

The value of immunoprophylaxis for cytomegalovirus infection with intravenous immunoglobulin in pediatric liver transplant recipients receiving a low-dose immunosupressive regimen.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


The incidence of CMV infection following pediatric Ltx is particularly high, which can be attributed to the increased number of patients at high risk for primary infection (donor CMV+, recipient CMV-). Current approaches to cope with this complication producing post-operative morbidity include prophylactic or preemptive ganciclovir therapy. As the risk for symptomatic CMV infection is directly correlated with the intensity of immunosuppression, the aim of our study was to assess the value of IVIG in order to protect children receiving low-dose immunosuppression from CMV disease. Twenty-eight consecutive children (median age 62.2 months) at high risk prospectively received three infusions of IVIG on days four, 14, and 28 post-transplant and were monitored for six months post-Ltx. Immunosuppression consisted of cyclosporine (initial trough levels 170-200 microg/L) and prednisolone (starting dose 15 mg/m(2)) as well as basiliximab induction therapy. Patient survival was 100% and graft survival was 92.9%. Two subjects developed laboratory findings of CMV infection (8%) and one child suffered from tissue invasive CMV disease (4%). Three patients were excluded from the study because of protocol violations. We conclude that there was a low incidence of CMV disease among a prospective cohort receiving low-dose immunosuppression and a standard IVIG product.

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