Cytomegalovirus infections following renal transplantation--effects on antiviral prophylaxis: a report of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study.
Post-transplant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections are a source of significant morbidity. However, the extent of the problem and the benefits of various antiviral prophylactic therapies remain incompletely understood. The North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study registry was screened to identify patients hospitalized for CMV infections during the 1st post-renal transplant year between 1987 and 1993. Using a control group of transplant recipients, we performed a retrospective analysis of risk factors for CMV disease among these hospitalized patients and studied the effects of various viral prophylactic strategies on CMV risk, clinical manifestations, and outcome. We identified 142 patients hospitalized with CMV infections, the majority of which included major organ involvement. A CMV-positive kidney donor was the most significant risk factor for hospitalization [odds ratio (OR) = 5.2, P<0.0001] irrespective of recipient age or CMV immune status. As opposed to antiviral agents (acyclovir, ganciclovir) or pooled IgG, prophylaxis with enriched anti-CMV IgG significantly reduced the risk of CMV hospitalization (OR = 0.31, P = 0.03). The prophylactic use of antiviral agents was associated with a decreased risk of major organ involvement during the CMV infection (OR = 0.34, P<0.005). Among the patients with CMV, the 3-year graft survival was significantly better for those who received any form of prophylaxis compared with those who received none (88% vs. 52%, P<0.001). Our findings suggest a role for combined CMV-enriched IgG and antiviral agent prophylaxis for post-transplant CMV disease. Such an approach could diminish the incidence and severity of CMV infection and appears to have an independent favorable effect on graft outcome.