Pharmacokinetics of Low and Maintenance Dose Valganciclovir in Kidney Transplant Recipients


* Corresponding author: Christine E. Chamberlain,


Valganciclovir is commonly used for cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis in renal transplant patients. A fixed dose of 900 mg daily is typically recommended, however, there has never been a formal pharmacokinetic study comparing various doses in renal transplant patients. We therefore compared the pharmacokinetic characteristics of intravenous ganciclovir (IV GCV) and oral ganciclovir (GCV) with two different doses of valganciclovir (VGCV) in an open-label crossover study. Ten adult kidney recipients participated in a four-phase crossover treatment schedule of IV GCV (2.5 mg/kg every 12 h), VGCV (900 mg daily), VGCV (450 mg daily) and oral GCV (1000 mg Q8 H). IV GCV and oral VGCV 900 mg daily achieved similar values for AUC0–24 (median 60.63 vs. 62.86 μg/h/mL). Oral VGCV 450 mg achieved comparable AUC0–24 values as oral GCV 1000 mg Q8 H (median AUC0–24 35.9 vs. 29.04 μg/h/mL). Oral VGCV 900 mg daily provided systemic GCV exposure similar to IV GCV and confirms PV 16 000 study results. Further, VGCV 450 mg daily provided comparable systemic exposure versus oral GCV. Due to its favorable pharmacokinetic profile, data herein suggest that VGCV can be used in the early post-kidney transplant period, and that 450 mg daily provides ample drug exposure for effective CMV prophylaxis in kidney transplant patients.