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Abstract

It is believed that antiviral prophylaxis decreases the incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation and disease. There are few data regarding weekly assays for CMV DNA after transplantation and the subsequent management of CMV. Here we report a cohort of living related liver transplantation (LRLT) patients who were treated for invasive CMV disease or for CMV infections if they were receiving steroids for rejection. Patients who underwent liver transplantation at our center between September 2006 and August 2010 and were recipient-positive/donor-positive (R+/D+) were prospectively included. Patients were tested for CMV DNA 3 weeks after transplantation. CMV DNA–positive patients underwent weekly DNA monitoring until there were 2 consecutive negative reports. Those who developed CMV disease or had rising DNA titers while they were on treatment for rejection were treated. A Cox regression analysis was performed for factors predicting survival. Two hundred sixty-six of the 306 R+/D+ patients were CMV DNA–negative 3 weeks after transplantation, and 40 had detectable DNA. One of the DNA-negative patients developed CMV disease after treatment for rejection with methylprednisolone. Thirty patients had <500 copies/mL, and 10 had ≥500 copies/mL. Two of the 30 patients with DNA levels < 500 copies/mL developed CMV disease. Six of the 10 patients with DNA levels ≥500 copies/mL developed disease. CMV disease occurred in 9 of the 306 patients (2.9%). One patient received treatment for a rise in DNA titers while he was receiving steroids. There was a significant correlation between steroid administration for acute cellular rejection (ACR) and CMV reactivation (P = 0.003) and disease (P = 0.002). A multivariate analysis showed that CMV reactivation/disease did not predict survival. There was no difference in survival between CMV DNA–positive patients and CMV DNA–negative patients (P = 0.68). In conclusion, CMV reactivation is common after LRLT (13%), but the disease is rare (2.9%) without prophylaxis in CMV immunoglobulin G–positive recipients. The administration of steroids for ACR strongly correlates with CMV reactivation and disease. CMV reactivation and disease did not affect survival in our patient cohort. Liver Transpl, 2012. © 2012 AASLD.