Symptomatic cytomegalovirus infection in renal transplant recipients given either Minnesota antilymphoblast globulin (MALG) or OKT3 for rejection prophylaxis.



To compare the impact of using Minnesota antilymphoblast globulin (MALG) versus the monoclonal antibody, OKT3, on the development of symptomatic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, we reviewed a cohort of 130 cadaveric renal transplant recipients enrolled in a prospective comparison of MALG versus OKT3 for rejection prophylaxis. Among the 112 patients at risk for CMV, prophylactic MALG was associated with an increased risk of symptomatic infection (relative hazard [rh] = 3.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.50 to 7.30; P = 0.003). Transplantation of kidneys from CMV-seropositive donors into CMV-seronegative recipients (rh = 5.22; 95% CI, 2.34 to 11.63; P = 0.00004), first transplantation (rh = 4.76; 95% CI, 1.06 to 21.3; P = 0.039), and acute rejection therapy (rh = 2.03; 95% CI, 0.98 to 4.21; P = 0.055) were also associated with an increased risk. Prophylactic MALG followed by treatment with any agent for acute rejection was strongly correlated with symptomatic CMV infection (rh = 4.46; 95% CI, 3.71 to 5.21; P = 0.00006). Symptomatic CMV infection was not only more frequent, but more severe in recipients of prophylactic MALG, and more MALG recipients were treated with ganciclovir. There was no difference in rejection rate for the two rejection prophylaxis regimens (P = 0.625). Prophylactic OKT3 results in less risk of symptomatic CMV infection than prophylactic MALG in cadaveric renal transplant recipients who are seropositive for CMV or whose donors are seropositive for CMV. CMV prophylaxis studies or immunosuppression protocols with symptomatic CMV infection as an end point should be stratified according to the type of antilymphocyte therapy used for rejection prophylaxis, as well as donor and recipient CMV serologic status.


Health Management and Policy

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American Journal of Kidney Diseases



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