Efficacy of Cidofovir in Treatment of BK Virus-Induced Hemorrhagic Cystitis in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018 Sep;24(9):1901-1905. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.04.009. Epub 2018 Apr 18.


BK virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis (BK-HC) is a common complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT), with incidences up to 70%. Cidofovir is an antiviral agent with growing evidence as a therapeutic intervention. To assess the safety profile and efficacy of intravenous and intravesical cidofovir in allo-HCT patients with BK-HC, a retrospective study was undertaken of the allo-HCT cohort who received cidofovir for symptomatic BK-HC (hematuria with BK viruria or viremia) from January 2010 until March 2017 in a single transplant center in Ontario, Canada. The primary outcome measure was a reduction in BK-HC severity (graded from 1 to 4); secondary outcomes included overall survival, BK virus titers, and the onset of acute kidney injury. Twelve allo-HCT patients received cidofovir for BK-HC, with pretreatment clinical severity of 3 (50%) or 4 (50%). Cidofovir was administered via intravenous (33%), intravesical (58%), or both modalities (8%). After a median cumulative dose of 10 mg/kg (range, 1 to 37), mean BK-HC grade decreased significantly by 1.8 (3.5 precidofovir, 1.7 postcidofovir, P < .01). Sixty-six percent of patients had at least partial response to cidofovir, with similar response rates between intravenous (66%) and intravesical (62%) administration. Sixty-seven percent of patients died, and 33% of patients experienced renal toxicity, including 2 patients receiving intravesical therapy. In this retrospective series, there was a significant reduction in BK-HC severity after cidofovir administration; most patients achieved at least partial response after cidofovir administration. Even with intravesical instillation, acute kidney injury remains a potential complication of cidofovir. Although cidofovir may be an efficacious therapy for BK-HC, albeit with potential demonstrated toxicities, further prospective trials are needed.

Keywords: Allogeneic hematopoietic transplant; BK virus; Cidofovir; Hemorrhagic cystitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • BK Virus / pathogenicity*
  • Cidofovir / pharmacology
  • Cidofovir / therapeutic use*
  • Cystitis / chemically induced*
  • Cystitis / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transplantation Conditioning / adverse effects*
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cidofovir