Impact of targeted oral ganciclovir prophylaxis for transplant recipients of livers from cytomegalovirus-seropositive donors

T Shah, W K Lai, D Mutimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Symptomatic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can cause significant morbidity and occasional mortality after liver transplantation. In a previous audit, we showed that donor CMV seropositivity (D+) was a risk factor for symptomatic infection, and we estimated the likely clinical and financial impact of 14 weeks of oral ganciclovir prophylaxis given to recipients of CMV-seropositive organs. In August 2001, we adopted this policy of targeted oral ganciclovir prophylaxis for recipients of CMV-seropositive livers.

METHOD: The additional costs of adopting targeted prophylaxis policy for 1 year, patient and doctor compliance with the new strategy, and its clinical impact were analysed.

RESULTS: Targeted prophylaxis reduced the incidence of symptomatic CMV infection from 9.5% (in the earlier cohort that did not receive prophylaxis) to 5.8% (P = NS). Symptomatic infection was not observed in CMV-seropositive recipients of CMV-seropositive donor livers (P = 0.06 for comparison of the 2 cohorts), but the incidence of symptomatic infection in the CMV-seronegative recipients of CMV-seropositive organs did not change. However, symptomatic infection appeared to be less severe and was delayed by ganciclovir prophylaxis (median time from transplantation to symptom onset 96 vs. 39 days without prophylaxis). Death attributable to CMV infection was not observed in the cohort that received prophylaxis. The additional cost associated with implementation of the prophylaxis strategy was 108,068 pounds sterlings.

CONCLUSION: Targeted CMV prophylaxis with oral ganciclovir reduces the incidence and severity of symptomatic infection and appears to be a cost-effective means of improving outcome following liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalTransplant infectious disease : an official journal of the Transplantation Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Chemoprevention
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections
  • Female
  • Ganciclovir
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tissue Donors
  • Treatment Outcome


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