Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common viral pathogen that negatively impacts on the outcome of liver transplantation. CMV cause febrile illness often accompanied by bone marrow suppression, and in some cases, invades tissues including the transplanted allo-graft. In addition, CMV has been significantly associated with an increased predisposition to allograft rejection, accelerated hepatitis C recurrence, and other opportunistic infections, as well as reduced overall pa tient and allograft survival. To negate the adverse effects of CMV on outcome, its prevention, whether through antiviral prophylaxis or preemptive therapy, is regarded as an essential component to the medical management of liver transplant patients. Two recent guidelines have suggested that antiviral prophylaxis or preemptive therapy are similarly effective in preventing CMV disease in modest-risk CMV-seropositive liver transplant recipients, while antiviral prophylaxis is the preferred strategy over preemptive therapy for the preven tion of CMV disease in high-risk recipients [CMV-seronegative recipients of liver allografts from CMV-seropositive donors (D+/R-)]. However, antiviral prophylaxis has only delayed the onset of CMV disease in many CMV D+/R- liver transplant recipients, and at least in one study, such occurrence of late-onset primary CMV disease was significantly associated with increased mortality after liver transplantation. Therefore, optimized strategies for prevention are needed, and aggressive treatment of CMV infection and disease should be pursued. The standard treatment of CMV disease consists of intravenous ganciclovir or oral valganciclovir, and if feasible, one should also reduce the degree of immunosuppression. In one recent controlled clinical trial, valganciclovir was found to be as effective and safe as intravenous ganciclovir for the treatment of mild to mo derate CMV disease in solid organ (including liver) tran splant recipients. In this article, the authors review the current state and the future perspectives of prevention and treatment of CMV disease after liver transplantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas