Quantification of polyoma BK viruria in hemorrhagic cystitis complicating bone marrow transplantation

Blood. 2001 Sep 15;98(6):1971-8. doi: 10.1182/blood.v98.6.1971.


Polyoma BK virus (BKV) is frequently identified in the urine of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) patients with hemorrhagic cystitis (HC). However, viruria is common even in asymptomatic patients, making a direct causative role of BKV difficult to establish. This study prospectively quantified BK viruria and viremia in 50 BMT patients to define the quantitative relationship of BKV reactivation with HC. Adenovirus (ADV) was similarly quantified as a control. More than 800 patient samples were quantified for BKV VP1 gene with a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Twenty patients (40%) developed HC, 6 with gross hematuria (HC grade 2 or higher) and 14 with microscopic hematuria (HC grade 1). When compared with asymptomatic patients, patients with HC had significantly higher peak BK viruria (6 x 10(12) versus 5.7 x 10(7) genome copies/d, P <.001) and larger total amounts of BKV excreted during BMT (4.9 x 10(13) versus 7.7 x 10(8) genome copies, P <.001). There was no detectable increase in BK viremia. Binary logistic regression analysis showed that BK viruria was the only risk factor, with HC not related to age, conditioning regimen, type of BMT, and graft-versus-host disease. Furthermore, the levels of ADV viruria in patients with or without HC were similar and comparable with those of BK viruria in patients without HC, suggesting that the significant increase in BK viruria in HC patients was not due to background viral reactivation or damage to the urothelium. BK viruria was quantitatively related to the occurrence of HC after BMT.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Adenoviridae / isolation & purification
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • BK Virus / genetics
  • BK Virus / isolation & purification*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Cystitis / diagnosis
  • Cystitis / etiology
  • Cystitis / virology*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Hematuria / diagnosis
  • Hematuria / etiology
  • Hematuria / virology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / etiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urine / virology*


  • DNA, Viral