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Management of Cytomegalovirus Infection After Renal Transplantation

Razonable, Raymund Rabe MD

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: July 2009 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 220-230
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31819b8d27
Review Articles

Since the first successful human renal transplants were performed in the 1950s, cytomegalovirus (CMV) has remained as the major infectious pathogen that has affected allograft and patient survival. Cytomegalovirus disease in renal transplant recipients can have serious direct clinical effects (eg, fever and organ invasion syndromes) and indirect consequences on allograft survival, risk of other opportunistic infections, and patient mortality. All of these effects increase the cost of care. Before the antiviral drug ganciclovir was developed, reduction of immunosuppression and immunoglobulin infusions were the major treatment strategies for CMV disease. Currently, ganciclovir and its prodrug, valganciclovir, are the mainstays of CMV disease treatment, preemptive therapy, and antiviral prophylaxis. However, limitations to the current management for CMV infection in transplant recipients have stimulated interest in developing new treatment strategies and drugs. This article discusses the current concepts and challenges and reviews potential newer options in the management of CMV infection after renal transplantation.

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, and the William J von Liebig Transplant Center, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Reprints: Raymund Rabe Razonable, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Marian Hall 5th Floor, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905. E-mail:

This article is supported by an educational grant from ViroPharma Incorporated.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.