We compared the efficacy and safety of valganciclovir with those of oral ganciclovir in preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in high-risk seronegative solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients of organs from seropositive donors (D+/R-). In this randomised, prospective, double-blind, double-dummy study, 364 CMV D+/R- patients received valganciclovir 900 mg once daily or oral ganciclovir 1000 mg three times a day (tid) within 10 days of transplant and continued through 100 days. CMV disease, plasma viremia, acute graft rejection, graft loss and safety were analyzed up to 6 and 12 months post-transplant. Endpoint committee-defined CMV disease developed in 12.1% and 15.2% of valganciclovir and ganciclovir patients, respectively, by 6 months, though with a difference in the relative efficacy of valganciclovir and ganciclovir between organs (i.e. an organ type-treatment interaction). By 12 months, respective incidences were 17.2% and 18.4%, and the incidence of investigator-treated CMV disease events was comparable in the valganciclovir (30.5%) and ganciclovir (28.0%) arms. CMV viremia during prophylaxis was significantly lower with valganciclovir (2.9% vs. 10.4%; p = 0.001), but was comparable by 12 months (48.5% valganciclovir vs 48.8% ganciclovir). Time-to-onset of CMV disease and to viremia were delayed with valganciclovir; rates of acute allograft rejection were generally lower with valganciclovir. Except for a higher incidence of neutropenia with valganciclovir (8.2%, vs 3.2% ganciclovir) the safety profile was similar for both drugs. Overall, once-daily oral valganciclovir was as clinically effective and well-tolerated as oral ganciclovir tid for CMV prevention in high-risk SOT recipients.