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Transplantation. 1995 Dec 27;60(12):1473-7.

Prophylactic ganciclovir treatment reduces fungal as well as cytomegalovirus infections after heart transplantation.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is associated with an increased incidence of other opportunistic infections in organ transplant recipients. Whether this is related to immunomodulating effects of CMV or independent of CMV but associated with a host risk factor common to both infections is unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the reduction in CMV infections seen with prophylactic ganciclovir treatment after heart transplantation is associated with a reduced incidence of other opportunistic infections. Of 149 patients prospectively enrolled in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ganciclovir to prevent CMV disease, 74 patients enrolled at this center (33 control and 41 ganciclovir-treated) were retrospectively identified. All received prophylactic OKT-3 and standard 3 drug maintenance immunosuppressive therapy. Actuarial survival and rejection rates and incidence of opportunistic infections (bacterial, fungal, and protozoal) for the 2 treatment groups were determined and compared using Cox-Mantel analysis. CMV disease occurred 2.5 times more frequently in the control group. There were no significant differences in survival or rejection rates nor in bacterial or protozoal infection incidence between the 2 groups. Bacterial infections occurred in 54% of control and 39% of ganciclovir-treated patients (P = 0.18). There were significantly fewer fungal infections in the ganciclovir-treated group (7% vs. 27%, P = 0.0071). CMV and fungal infections were both significantly reduced in patients who received ganciclovir prophylaxis. This suggests that active CMV disease may be causally associated with the development of opportunistic fungal infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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