Is cytomegalovirus infection dangerous in cytomegalovirus-seropositive recipients after liver transplantation?



Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections contracted after liver transplantation put patients at an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. We analyzed the effects of CMV infection by time of onset, mortality, and graft failure risk factors in liver recipients who were CMV donor-positive/recipient-positive (D+/R+). We reviewed 618 medical records for consecutive adult liver transplant cases. CMV pp65 antigenemia assays to determine patient CMV status were administered monthly. The incidences of CMV infection and disease were 55.7% (344 of 618 records) and 5.5% (34 of 618 records), respectively. The differences in patient survival and graft failure rates for CMV-infected and CMV-uninfected patients were not significant (P = 0.707 and P = 0.973), but the rates were lower in patients with CMV disease than in CMV-uninfected patients (P = 0.005 and P = 0.030, respectively). The recurrence of hepatitis B virus and hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatic dysfunction, infection, numerous pp65-staining cells, and CMV disease were found to be the risk factors for mortality and graft failure in CMV D+/R+ adult liver transplant patients. In conclusion, the occurrence of CMV disease, and not asymptomatic CMV infection, was a risk factor for mortality and graft failure in adult liver transplant recipients with CMV D+/R+. Liver Transpl, 2011. © 2011 AASLD.