A Trial of Valganciclovir Prophylaxis for Cytomegalovirus Prevention in Lung Transplant Recipients


  • Presented at the American Transplant Congress meeting in Washington, DC. April 2004.

*Corresponding author: Dr. Atul Humar, Atul.Humar@uhn.on.ca


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is common after lung transplantation. We performed a prospective trial of valganciclovir prophylaxis in lung recipients with outcomes compared to matched historical controls. The valganciclovir group (n = 40) (including D+/R– and R+ patients) was prospectively enrolled, and received oral valganciclovir 900 mg once daily for 12 weeks. Historical controls (n = 40) received 12 weeks of daily intravenous ganciclovir if D+/R– or 12 weeks of oral ganciclovir if R+. CMV viral load testing was done at two-week intervals until 6 months posttransplant. Baseline demographics and immunosuppression were comparable in the two groups. The incidence of CMV viremia was 16/40 (40.0%) in the valganciclovir arm versus 18/40 (45%) in the ganciclovir arm (p = NS). The incidence of symptomatic CMV disease was 8/40 (20%) versus 7/40 (17.5%), respectively (p = NS). In both groups viremia, while on prophylaxis, was uncommon (valganciclovir: 0/40 and ganciclovir: 2/40). Peak viral load and time to viremia were similar in the two arms. High rates of viremia and symptomatic disease occurred in the D+/R– patients after discontinuation of prophylaxis. Genotypic CMV sequence analysis demonstrated low rates of ganciclovir resistance in both groups. Valganciclovir prophylaxis had similar efficacy to either intravenous ganciclovir (D+/R– patients), or oral ganciclovir (R+ patients) in lung recipients.