ECIL guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of BK polyomavirus-associated haemorrhagic cystitis in haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2018 Jan 1;73(1):12-21. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx324.


Objectives: To define guidelines for BK polyomavirus (BKPyV)-associated haemorrhagic cystitis (BKPyV-HC) after paediatric and adult HSCT.

Methods: Review of English literature and evidence-based recommendations by expert consensus.

Results: BKPyV-HC occurs in 8%-25% of paediatric and 7%-54% of adult recipients undergoing allogeneic HSCT. Diagnosis requires the triad of cystitis, macro-haematuria and high urine BKPyV loads >7 log10 copies/mL, and exclusion of other relevant aetiologies. BKPyV viraemia is frequent and may serve as a more specific semiquantitative follow-up marker. No randomized controlled trials are available to inform antiviral prophylaxis or treatment. However, hyper-hydration and/or bladder irrigation showed limited prophylactic value. Fluoroquinolones are not effective for prophylaxis or treatment, but rather increase antibiotic resistance. Hyperbaric oxygen or fibrin glue is marginally effective based on small case series from correspondingly equipped centres. Although cidofovir has been reported to improve and/or reduce BKPyV viraemia or viruria, the current data do not support its regular use.

Conclusions: BKPyV-HC remains a disabling unmet clinical need in HSCT that requires novel approaches supported by proper clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • BK Virus / drug effects*
  • BK Virus / isolation & purification
  • Cystitis / diagnosis*
  • Cystitis / drug therapy*
  • Cystitis / prevention & control
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / genetics
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Polyomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Virus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / prevention & control
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder / virology