Background: The optimal approach to cytomegalovirus (CMV) prevention after lung transplantation is controversial. We recently completed a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study of CMV prevention in lung transplantation that demonstrated the short-term efficacy and safety of extending valganciclovir prophylaxis to 12 months vs 3 months of therapy. In the current analysis, we monitored a single-center subset of patients enrolled in the CMV prevention trial to determine if extended prophylaxis conferred a sustained long-term benefit and to assess its hematologic safety.
Methods: The sub-analysis included 38 randomized patients from Duke University Medical Center. All patients underwent consistent serial serum CMV monitoring and surveillance bronchoscopies. CMV was defined by viremia (≥ 500 CMV DNA copies/ml) or pneumonitis. The safety assessment included a review of all complete blood counts obtained from transplant onward.
Results: During a mean follow-up of 3.9 years in each group, extended-course compared with short-course prophylaxis provided a sustained protective benefit with a lifetime CMV incidence of 12% vs 55%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.13; 95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.61; p = 0.009), an effect that persisted after adjustment for clinical risk factors. Patients in each group underwent a comparable number of peripheral blood draws and bronchoscopies. Post-transplant white blood cell, neutrophil, and platelet counts were similar between each treatment group during the course of follow-up.
Conclusion: Extending valganciclovir prophylaxis to 12 months provides a durable long-term CMV protective benefit compared with short-course therapy, without increasing adverse hematologic effects.
Copyright © 2011 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.