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Pediatr Transplant. 2010 Jun;14(4):483-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2009.01253.x. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

HHV-6 encephalitis in pediatric unrelated umbilical cord transplantation: a role for ganciclovir prophylaxis?

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Department of Pediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, and Department of Microbiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.


The role of ganciclovir as HHV-6 prophylaxis in unrelated HSCT setting remains controversial. We performed an eight-yr retrospective review of patients received unrelated HSCT from January 2000 to September 2008. From January 2002, ganciclovir prophylaxis 5 mg/kg twice daily for seven days for all unrelated HSCT before transplant was adopted. The prevalence of HHV-6 encephalitis was studied before and after the change in policy. Fifty-four unrelated HSCT were performed from January 2000 to September 2008. Four cases (7.4%) of HHV-6 encephalitis were diagnosed. All of them were due to variant B infection. Two cases out of 16 cases (12.5%) were diagnosed before adoption of the policy; two cases out of 38 cases (5.3%) were diagnosed afterward. All of them were unrelated UCB transplant recipients. They were all seropositive to HHV-6 before transplant. Two cases complicated with significant residual neurological deficit and refractory seizure. The other two cases died of other transplant-related mortalities. We conclude that HHV-6 encephalitis is still a rare complication of unrelated HSCT and may be more common in unrelated UCB transplant. Routine use of ganciclovir as HHV-6 prophylaxis in all unrelated HSCT recipients may not be justified but may have a role in unrelated UCB transplant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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