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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Sep;22(5):507-9.

Lack of reactivity to CMV pp65 antigenemia testing in a patient with CMV disease following allogeneic bone marrow transplant.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Pre-emptive antiviral therapy based on the early detection of CMV infection is an important strategy for the prevention of CMV disease following allogeneic BMT. Accepted methods for early detection of CMV infection include viral culture of blood or bronchial lavage specimens or CMV pp65 antigenemia testing of peripheral blood specimens. We describe a patient with aplastic anemia with worsening liver transaminases after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation who had repeated negative tests for CMV pp65 antigenemia despite positive viral blood cultures. Re-examination of peripheral blood samples with a different pp65 antibody pool revealed the presence of high levels of CMV in peripheral blood leukocytes, confirming a lack of reactivity to the original antibody pool. Following institution of antiviral therapy, a prompt reduction in the number of pp65 antigen-positive peripheral blood leukocytes paralleled a reduction in abnormal transaminases. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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