Efficacy of Extended Valganciclovir Prophylaxis in Preventing Cytomegalovirus Infection in Pediatric Kidney Transplantation

Hashim Faris1, A. Gregg Jon 2, R. Dharnidharka Vikas 1, *
1 Divisions of Pediatric Nephrology and
2 Transplant Nephrology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL USA

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©Hashim et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8116, Room NWT 10-119, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St Louis MO 63110, Tel: 314-286-1574; Fax: 314-286-1149; E-mail:


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the most frequent opportunistic infection in renal transplant (RTx) recipients. Valganciclovir (VGC) has been showed to be safe and highly effective in prophylaxis of CMV infection in RTx recipients. Recently, an increase in delayed onset CMV disease has been noted with some arguing that longer prophylaxis may decrease the late-onset disease.

We retrospectively tested the hypothesis that extended term prophylaxis (ETP) of VGC for 12 months is more effective than short term prophylaxis (STP) of 6 months in preventing CMV infection and disease in pediatric RTx performed at the University of Florida from July 2003 to December 2010. In this period, all recipients underwent prospective CMV PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) monitoring and were maintained on similar immunosuppression.

Eighty six patients received RTx during that period. All eligible subjects had to have at least 12 months of graft survival and 18 months of follow up, leaving 73 eligible subjects in final study group. CMV infection or disease occurred in 6/29 (20%) in the STP group vs 6/44 (14%) in the ETP group with no statistical significant difference (P= 0.42). Donor positive/recipients negative CMV serology status (D+/R-) were associated with a higher risk of CMV infection in both univariate and multivariate analysis (P=0.01). Anemia and Leucopenia directly associated with VGC were similar in both groups (P=0.58 and P=0.2 respectively). Biopsy-proven acute rejection was also non-significant in both groups (P=0.39).

Although ETP for CMV from 6 months to 12 months is safe and has minimal adverse effect, it did not reduce CMV infection or disease. Further controlled studies in pediatrics age group are considered to compare longer versus shorter periods of prophylaxis and their impact on prevention of CMV infection, resistance, cost, and toxicity.

Keywords: Late onset CMV infection, renal transplant, short term and long term prophylaxis, valgancyclovir..