Letermovir for Cytomegalovirus infection in pediatric patients undergoing allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a real-life study by the Infectious Diseases Working Group of Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (AIEOP)

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2024 Apr;59(4):505-512. doi: 10.1038/s41409-024-02209-2. Epub 2024 Jan 25.


Letermovir prophylaxis revolutionized the approach to Cytomegalovirus infection in adult hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT), while data in pediatric setting are still lacking. We retrospectively analyzed 87 HCT children transplanted in 11 AIEOP centers receiving letermovir as off-label indication between January 2020 and November 2022. Letermovir was used as primary, secondary prophylaxis or CMV treatment in 39, 26 and 22 cases, respectively; no discontinuation due to toxicity was reported. Median duration was 100 days (14-256) for primary and 96 days (8-271) for secondary prophylaxis, respectively. None of the patients experienced CMV-clinically significant reactivation during Letermovir primary prophylaxis; one patient developed breakthrough infection during secondary prophylaxis, and 10 and 1 patient experienced asymptomatic CMV-reactivation and CMV-primary infection after drug discontinuation, respectively. Median duration of letermovir in CMV treatment was 40 days (7-134), with 4/22 patients suffering CMV-pneumonia, with an overall response rate of 86.4%. With a median follow-up of 10.7 months (8.2-11.8), estimated 1-year overall survival was 86%; no CMV-related deaths were reported in prophylaxis groups. This is the largest report on Letermovir use in pediatric HCT; real-life data confirm an excellent toxicity profile, with high efficacy as CMV prophylaxis; results in CMV-infection treatment should be investigated in larger, prospective trials.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates*
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Communicable Diseases*
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / drug therapy
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / etiology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / prevention & control
  • Hematology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quinazolines*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • letermovir
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acetates
  • Quinazolines