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Transplantation. 1995 Oct 15;60(7):689-94.

Blood cyclosporine concentrations and cytomegalovirus infection following heart transplantation.

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MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


We have attempted to identify major risk factors for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease following heart transplantation, with emphasis on the degree and type of immunosuppression used. One hundred and eleven consecutive heart transplant recipients were studied for the first 4 months. Data from the 95 who survived at least 1 month were analyzed using multiple Cox regression. Blood cyclosporine concentrations (CsAbc) > 550 micrograms L-1 were associated with a 4.4-fold increase in risk of CMV infection during the next week (95% confidence interval = 1.2-16.2). Other significant risk factors for CMV infection included antirejection treatment in the past 14 days, a drop in white blood cell count, receiving a CMV antibody-positive donor organ, and primary diagnosis other than cardiomyopathy. We found that patients experiencing a CMV infection were at 3 times the risk of subsequently developing symptomatic CMV disease (95% confidence interval = 1.1-9.7). In addition, the proportion of patients developing symptomatic CMV disease was significantly higher amongst those with a median CsAbc > 550 micrograms L-1 for at least 1 week (29% vs. 10%; P = 0.02) or who had been treated for rejection more frequently than once every 6 weeks (31% vs. 12%; P = 0.04) during the first 4 months. CMV antibody-negative recipients of antibody-positive donor organs had a higher rate of symptomatic CMV disease than did other serological combinations (67% vs. 10%; P = 0.0001). We conclude that the risk of CMV infection and symptomatic disease following heart transplantation may be critically influenced by early management of immunosuppression as well as by donor serology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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