Twelve liver and 5 kidney transplant recipients with severe cytomegalovirus infection were treated with Ganciclovir (7.5 mg/kg/day, intravenously). Ten were evaluable (compatible clinical picture, organ involvement shown histopathologically or by culture, viremia, and absence of concomitant infection). All 17 patients were studied for adverse drug side effects. A total of 9 evaluable patients survived the infection; 1 died during treatment due to infection or drug toxicity. A death 19 days after completion of treatment was due to unrelated causes. Patients became afebrile after 2-9 days (mean, 5.3 days) of treatment. Liver function improved, pulmonary infiltrates cleared, and hypoxemia reversed during therapy. Viremia ceased during therapy in 9 patients; asymptomatic viruria persisted or recurred in 6 of 7 patients studied. No relapses occurred during follow-up (7—17 months; mean, 13 months). Transient neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 3 and 1 patients, respectively. Ganciclovir appears promising for treatment of severe CMV infection in patients with kidney or liver transplants.
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