Effects of the intensity of immunosuppressive therapy on outcome of treatment for CMV disease in organ transplant recipients

Am J Transplant. 2010 Aug;10(8):1881-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03114.x. Epub 2010 May 10.


An effective host immune response, critical for successful control of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in solid organ transplant recipients, is affected by intensity and type of immunosuppressive therapy. We used information prospectively captured in the VICTOR-trial to investigate the impact of immunosuppressive therapy on short- and long-term outcomes of CMV treatment in organ transplant recipients. Dual, as compared to triple, immunosuppressive therapy ([odds ratios] OR of 2.55; 95% CI: 1.51-4.60; p = 0.002), lower blood concentrations of calcineurin inhibitors (OR of 5.53; CI: 1.04-29.35; p = 0.045), and longer time since transplantation (OR of 1.70; CI: 1.01-2.87; p = 0.047) all showed better early (Day 21) CMV DNAemia eradication. We observed no effect of the intensity of the immunosuppressive therapy on overall rates of viral eradication or recurrence. The type of calcineurin inhibitor (tacrolimus/cyclosporine) or use of mycophenolate did not affect treatment efficacy, although both tacrolimus and mycophenolate treated patients showed a lower rate of virological recurrence OR 0.51 (95% CI: 0.26-0.98; p = 0.044) and OR 0.45 (95% CI: 0.22-0.93; p = 0.031), respectively. Lower total intensity of immunosuppressive therapy was associated with more effective early, but not overall, CMV DNAemia eradication by valganciclovir/ganciclovir therapy. Both mycophenolate and tacrolimus (rather than cyclosporine) therapy seem to be associated with reduced risk of recurrence.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Female
  • Ganciclovir / administration & dosage
  • Ganciclovir / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression / methods*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycophenolic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Organ Transplantation / methods
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Valganciclovir


  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • DNA, Viral
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Valganciclovir
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Ganciclovir
  • Tacrolimus