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Chin Med J (Engl). 2012 Oct;125(19):3575-7.

Clinical application of real time-polymerase chain reaction in determining cytomegalovirus viral DNA load in renal transplant recipients.

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National Center for Clinical Laboratories, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health, Beijing 100730, China.



Cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a significant clinical problem among immunosuppressed renal transplant patients. Quantitative PCR assays have become the most common methods in the determination of CMV infections in transplant patients. This study was to determine the relationship between CMV infection and the acute rejection of the transplanted kidney.


Plasma samples from 77 renal transplant patients that were pre-transplant negative for CMV infection were tested using real-time quantitative PCR and CMV gene-specific primers. The detected viral loads were retrospectively compared with the acute rejection rate and the chronic or mild rejection rates of the renal transplant.


CMV-DNA was detected in 29 of 77 recipients, yielding a positive rate of detection of 37.7% for this procedure. Twelve of the 21 recipients (57.1%) who suffered acute rejection had positive CMV-DNA. Among the 56 recipients suffered from chronic or mild rejection, 17 (30.4%) had positive CMV-DNA plasma. Moreover, of the 29 recipients who had detectable CMV-DNA after transplant, 12 (41.4%) suffered from acute rejection; of the 48 recipients with undetectable CMV-DNA, only nine (18.8%) developed acute rejection. Post-transplant patients with acute rejection had a higher rate (57.1% vs. 30.4%, P = 0.03) of post-transplant CMV infection than those with chronic or mild rejection.


CMV infection is a risk factor of acute renal transplant rejection and CMV infection should be prevented and treated in renal transplant recipients.

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