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Background. In this retrospective single center study we have evaluated the relation between the immunosuppressive regimen and the incidence and characteristics of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in the setting without CMV prophylaxis from 1989 through 1998. Methods. All (470) first cadaveric renal transplantations in nonsensitized (PRA < 60%) patients were analyzed. Immunosuppression consisted of cyclosporine A (Sandimmune) and prednisolone from 1989 through 2-1993 (S; 189 patients), of cyclosporine microemulsion (Neoral) and prednisolone from 3-1993 through 5-1997 (N; 200 patients) and of mycophenolate mofetil, Neoral and prednisolone from 5-1997 until 1998 (M; 81 patients). The CMV pp65-antigenemia was measured routinely at least once weekly from day 10 till 12 weeks after transplantation or until pp65-antigenemia became negative. No CMV-prophylaxis was given. Results. By changing from Sandimmune to Neoral and by adding mycophenolate mofetil, respectively, we observed a higher frequency of especially secondary CMV infections (S vs. N vs. M, respectively, 28 vs. 50 vs. 63%, P = 0.026; S vs. N, P = 0.027; S vs. M, P = 0.015; and N vs. M, n.s). The CMV infections lasted longer (median duration antigenemia S vs. N vs. M, respectively, 3 vs. 5 vs. 7 weeks, P = 0.0003; S vs. N, P < 0.002; S vs. M, P < 0.001; and N vs. M, P < 0.05). Viral load was higher in M (median maximal pp65-antigenemia S vs. N vs. M, respectively, 19 vs. 14.5 vs. 73, P < 0.01; S vs. N, n.s.; S vs. M, P < 0.001 and N vs. M, P < 0.01). Conclusions. The use of Neoral and the addition of mycophenolate mofetil caused significant changes in the incidence, duration and viral load of CMV infections.

Original publication




Journal article


Transpl Infect Dis

Publication Date





17 - 24


Cyclosporine, Cytomegalovirus, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Drug Therapy, Combination, Female, Graft Rejection, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Kidney Transplantation, Male, Middle Aged, Mycophenolic Acid, Phosphoproteins, Postoperative Complications, Prednisolone, Retrospective Studies, Viral Load, Viral Matrix Proteins, Viremia