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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2019 Mar;247(3):179-187. doi: 10.1620/tjem.247.179.

Diagnostic Utility of Cytomegalovirus Nucleic Acid Testing during Antigenemia-Guided Cytomegalovirus Monitoring after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation or Liver Transplantation.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Department of Hematology, Atomic Bomb Disease and Hibakusha Medicine Unit, Atomic Bomb Disease Institute, Nagasaki University.
Department of Surgery, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an opportunistic pathogen, and careful monitoring of CMV is important for immunocompromised patients. Antigenemia-based CMV monitoring is a standard test used for managing CMV infection in transplant recipients; however, in Japan, there are no reports of CMV monitoring using the standardized test. The utility of a standardized CMV nucleic acid test (NAT) was evaluated during antigenemia-based CMV monitoring after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or liver transplantation. Blood collection for CMV monitoring was performed under the physician's instructions depending on the condition of the patient, and CMV NAT and antigenemia was evaluated. For HSCT recipients, blood collection only for NAT was additionally performed during the pre-engraftment phase. The results of the NAT were blinded to those evaluating the results. A total of 34 patients were enrolled (11 HSCT recipients and 23 liver transplant recipients). NAT detected the first CMV episode no later than antigenemia in 2 (18.2%) HSCT recipients and 3 (13.0%) liver transplant recipients, earlier than antigenemia in 3 (27.3%) HSCT recipients and 7 (30.4%) liver transplant recipients, and later than antigenemia in 1 (9.1%) HSCT recipient and 1 (4.3%) liver transplant recipient. In 5 HSCT recipients, NAT was positive during the pre-engraftment phase. Among the 468 blood samples which were evaluated by both NAT and antigenemia, 124 (26.7%) were positive in NAT and 51 (10.9%) were positive in antigenemia. The standardized CMV NAT is useful for accurately diagnosing CMV infection and determining appropriate therapeutic interventions for HSCT recipients and liver transplant recipients.


automation; immunocompromised; monitoring; nucleic acid test; pre-engraftment phase

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