Role of immunosuppressive regimen on the incidence and characteristics of cytomegalovirus infection in heart transplantation: A single-center experience with preemptive therapy

L. S. De Santo, G. Romano, C. Mastroianni, C. Roberta, A. Della Corte, C. Amarelli, C. Maiello, B. Giannolo, C. Marra, E. Ragone, M. Grimaldi, R. Utili, M. Scardone, M. Cotrufo

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Abstract

Objective. This retrospective single-center report sought to evaluate the relation of immunosuppressive regimen with the incidence and characteristics of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection from 1999 to 2003. Patients and methods. Immunosuppression consisted of cyclosporine microemulsion (Neoral), azathioprine (AZA), and prednisolone associated with either thymoglobulin or ATG high-dosage induction from 1999 to 2000 (AZA, 64 patients [AZA-Thymo = 38 patients and AZA-ATG 26 patients]), or cyclosporine microemulsion (Neoral), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and prednisolone with low-dose thymoglobulin induction from 2001 onward (n = 52 patients). Ganciclovir preemptive therapy was guided by pp65 antigenemia monitoring without CMV prophylaxis. Results. The study groups were homogeneous with respect to major perioperative risk factors. Comparing the two AZA subgroups no difference emerged as to percentage of pp65 antigenemia-positive, preemptively treated patients reflecting CMV disease incidence and relapses. AZA-Thymo patient showed significantly shorter time to first positive pp65-antigenemia and higher viral load (AZA-Thymo vs AZA-ATG, P = .004 and P = .009). The two subgroups did not differ with regard to incidence of rejection, superinfection, and graft coronary disease. By shifting from AZA to MMF no difference emerged as to incidence and characteristics of CMV infections, but there was a significant reduction in acute rejection and superinfection (AZA vs MMF P = .001 and P = .008). Conclusions. The distinct immunological properties of thymoglobulin versus ATG significantly altered the pattern of CMV expression. MMF with reduced-dose induction did not engender a higher CMV morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2684-2687
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

Cite this

De Santo, L. S., Romano, G., Mastroianni, C., Roberta, C., Della Corte, A., Amarelli, C., Maiello, C., Giannolo, B., Marra, C., Ragone, E., Grimaldi, M., Utili, R., Scardone, M., & Cotrufo, M. (2005). Role of immunosuppressive regimen on the incidence and characteristics of cytomegalovirus infection in heart transplantation: A single-center experience with preemptive therapy. Transplantation Proceedings, 37(6), 2684-2687. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.transproceed.2005.06.080