Three weeks of ganciclovir for cytomegaloviraemia after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation

S. Singhal*, J. Mehta, R. Powles, J. Treleaven, C. Horton, D. Carrington, Y. Tryhorn, B. Jameson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Cytomegaloviraemia diagnosed by early antigen detection or conventional viral culture from blood occurred 7-71 days (median 41 days) after transplant in 25 of 38 consecutive patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT) from HLA-identical siblings for haematological malignancies where patient and/or donor were CMV-seropositive. Prophylactic ganciclovir, high-dose intravenous acyclovir or immunoglobulin were not administered. Viraemia was treated with a short 3-week course of ganciclovir (10 mg/kg x 1 week, 5 mg/kg x 2 weeks). Clearance of viraemia occurred 3-47 days (median 6 days) after starting anti-viral therapy in 20 patients (18 with ganciclovir, 2 with foscarnet), and before therapy in 3 patients. The remaining 2 patients received inadequate anti-viral therapy for various reasons and died of CMV pneumonitis. There was no clinical evidence of CMV disease in the 13 patients who did not develop viraemia. One patient treated with ganciclovir before adequate haematological recovery died of graft failure. A second episode of viraemia occurred in four patients, and a third in one. We conclude that a short 3-week course of ganciclovir is adequate in most patients developing cytomegaloviraemia after allogeneic BMT. Treatment is not necessary in all patients but some inadequately treated patients develop CMV disease. Ganciclovir is tolerated well but may cause severe myelosuppression if used prior to adequate marrow recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-781
Number of pages5
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 26 1995


  • Allogeneic
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Foscarnet
  • Ganciclovir
  • Interstitial pneumonitis
  • Leukaemia
  • Viraemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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