Key words CMV
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease is a serious complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Early detection of the disease by antigenemia testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) along with pre-emptive antiviral therapy has been shown to be very effective in decreasing the incidence of CMV. We performed an uncontrolled observational study in 21 patients after HSCT (14 related, 7 unrelated donors) to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of foscarnet administered as prophylaxis for CMV reactivation. Ten patients received bone marrow, and eleven patients received peripheral blood stem cells. All patients received foscarnet prophylaxis to study side effects, incidence of CMV reactivation, CMV disease, and transplant-related mortality. Foscarnet (90 mg/kg) was given every 12 h, day +11 to day +16. Thereafter, foscarnet (90 mg/kg) was given once per day, three times per week until day +60. The incidence of CMV reactivation detected by antigenemia (pp65 antigen) or PCR was 23.8% (5 of 21 patients). Two patients developed CMV disease and one patient died of CMV-pneumonia. Seventeen patients (81%) reported severe side effects, such as gastrointestinal disturbance, headache, and urethritis. In eight patients (38%), the dose of foscarnet had to be reduced and, in six patients (28.5%), foscarnet application was discontinued because of side effects. Compared with other groups, we believe that the potential benefit of foscarnet administration in this early setting is outweighed by the risks of severe toxicity.
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