Intravesicular Cidofovir in the Treatment of BK Virus-Associated Hemorrhagic Cystitis Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Ann Pharmacother. 2020 Jun;54(6):547-553. doi: 10.1177/1060028019897896. Epub 2019 Dec 26.


Background: BK virus hemorrhagic cystitis (BKV-HC) is a common complication following hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT); optimal management remains uncertain. Supportive care (bladder irrigation and blood transfusions) and intravenous and intravesicular cidofovir have all been used with varying success. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the safety and effectiveness of intravesicular cidofovir for BKV-HC following HSCT. Methods: A retrospective analysis of all HSCT patients with BKV-HC prescribed intravesicular cidofovir from 2012 to 2017. Results: 33 patients were treated for BKV-HC. The median age was 50 years (range 23-73), and 18 (55%) were male. The median HC symptom severity was 2, with a median BK urine viral load pretreatment of 100,000,000 IU/mL. Patients received a median of 2 intravesicular treatments (range 1-7) at a dosage of 5 mg/kg per instillation. In all, 19 (59%) patients demonstrated complete clinical resolution of symptoms; 9 (28%) had a partial response; and 4 (13%) had no change in symptoms. Patients with a high pretreatment BK viral load (>100 million) and high HC grade (2-4) had a lower frequency of complete remission. The main side effect of intravesicular instillation was severe bladder spasms in 4 patients (12%). Conclusion and Relevance: This is the largest study of intravesicular cidofovir treatment of BKV HC reported to date; 88% of patients with BVK-HC achieved clinical improvement of symptoms with minimal side effects. Clinical trials of intravesicular cidofovir could provide further evidence for this treatment for BKV-HC.

Keywords: BK virus; cidofovir; hemorrhagic cystitis; stem cell transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • BK Virus / drug effects*
  • Cidofovir / administration & dosage
  • Cidofovir / therapeutic use*
  • Cystitis / drug therapy*
  • Cystitis / etiology
  • Cystitis / virology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / etiology
  • Polyomavirus Infections / virology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tumor Virus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / etiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cidofovir