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Transplant Proc. 2012 Apr;44(3):787-90. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.01.073.

Antiviral prophylaxis versus preemptive therapy to prevent cytomegalovirus infection and related death in liver transplantation: a retrospective study with propensity score matching.

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National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, Seoul, Korea.



Cytomegalovirus (CMV), the most significant viral infection in liver transplant recipients, is addressed by 2 methods: Preemptive therapy (PT) or universal prophylaxis (UP).


We analyzed medical records including at least 1 year follow-up of patients who underwent liver transplantation from 2006 to 2009 in 3 tertiary hospitals. PT was used in 2 hospitals (PT group), whereas UP with valganciclovir for 3 months was adopted in the other hospital (UP group). The 2 groups were matched using propensity scoring by perioperative variables. We performed a 1:1 comparison of the efficacy of UP and PT.


We analyzed 634 liver transplant patients, including 562 matched subjects. Baseline characteristics and underlying liver status were comparable. CMV immunoglobulin G of recipients was positive in 98.9% of the PT group and 99.3% of the UP group. CMV viremia episodes that required administration of an antiviral agent occurred in 26 (9.3%) PT and 37 (13.2%) UP subjects (P = .18). CMV-related mortalities were similar (0.7% vs 1.8%; P = .45), but all-cause mortality was higher in the PT group (18.5% vs 13.2%; P = .08).


The efficacy of PT was similar to UP to prevent CMV disease and related mortality among a group at moderate risk for CMV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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