Oral Valganciclovir as Preemptive Therapy for Cytomegalovirus Reactivation in Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Patients

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2015 Oct;37(7):543-7. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000397.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most common complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCT). Valganciclovir (VGC) has increasingly been used as prophylaxis against CMV infection after solid organ transplantation, but data on the efficacy and safety of VGC in pediatric HSCT patients are limited. We present our experience with VGC following ganciclovir (GCV) as preemptive therapy in pediatric HSCT patients. A total of 46 patients (38% patients) were found to be positive for CMV reactivation. Patients were treated with GCV (group I, n: 22) or GCV followed by VGC (GCV+VGC, group II, n: 24). VGC was preferred in the treatment of outpatients, whereas inpatients were treated with GCV. There was no significant difference in CMV clearance (P=0.78), treatment duration (P=0.087), and second CMV infection (P=0.3) between the 2 groups. The length of hospital stay was 21 days in GCV group, 14 days in VGC following GCV group (P=0.07). There were no treatment-related side effect in both groups. In conclusion, oral administration of VGC as preemptive therapy was found to be safe and effective. It is also a more suitable application for pediatric patients instead of an intravenous route. It could reduce the duration of inpatient stay and cost of hospitalization.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus / physiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Ganciclovir / administration & dosage
  • Ganciclovir / analogs & derivatives*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Valganciclovir
  • Virus Activation / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Valganciclovir
  • Ganciclovir