Prospective comparison of PCR-based vs late mRNA-based preemptive antiviral therapy for HCMV infection in patients after allo-SCT

H. Hebart, C. Lengerke, P. Ljungman, C. V. Paya, T. Klingebiel, J. Loeffler, S. Pfaffenrath, I. Lewensohn-Fuchs, L. Barkholt, J. Tomiuk, C. Meisner, J. Lunenberg, B. Top, R. R. Razonable, R. Patel, M. R. Litzow, G. Jahn, H. Einsele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Human CMV (HCMV)-directed preemptive therapy has helped to improve the outcome following allo-SCT. In this study, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of a late mRNA-based (NucliSens CMV pp67) anti-HCMV treatment strategy. A prospective randomized multicenter pilot trial was performed comparing PCR-based, with late mRNA-based preemptive HCMV-directed antiviral therapy in patients after allo-SCT. In all, 133 patients were randomized in three different centers at the time of transplant, 130 of whom are evaluable. Viral screening was performed weekly. Antiviral therapy was initiated at the second consecutive positive PCR result, or at the first detection of late mRNA. The therapy was stopped if clearance of HCMV DNA or late mRNA was demonstrated after 14 days of antiviral therapy. If HCMV infection persisted, antiviral therapy was continued in a reduced dose. The median duration of antiviral therapy during the first treatment episode was 28 days for PCR-, and 19 days for mRNA-screened patients (P0.02). However, the overall duration of antiviral therapy, as well as the incidence of HCMV disease and the OS at day 100 after transplantation was comparable between the two study groups. We conclude that late mRNA-based anti-HCMV therapy may show comparable safety and efficacy with PCR-based therapy in patients after allo-SCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • CMV
  • NucliSens CMV pp67
  • allo-SCT
  • antiviral therapy monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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