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Arch Surg. 1989 Dec;124(12):1443-9; discussion 1449-50.

Clinical patterns of cytomegalovirus disease after liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha 68105.


During a 43-month period, we performed 248 liver transplantations in 211 patients (127 adults and 84 children). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease was documented in 73 recipients (34.6%). Risk factors for CMV disease included donor CMV seropositivity, antilymphocyte therapy, and retransplantation. The mean time of occurrence of CMV disease was 38.3 days after transplantation, and the most frequent site of disease was the hepatic allograft. A total of 69 patients were treated with intravenous ganciclovir, with a prompt and lasting response documented in 51 (73.9%). The remaining 18 (26.1%) developed recurrent CMV disease, which was more common after primary CMV exposure. Cytomegalovirus disease was ultimately controlled by ganciclovir in 94.2% of cases. This disease occurs early after transplantation and can be related to well-defined risk factors. Although ganciclovir therapy is effective, preliminary experience with prophylaxis shows promise in reducing the incidence of CMV disease.

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