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Randomized comparison of ganciclovir plus intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) with IVIG alone for prevention of primary cytomegalovirus disease in children receiving liver transplants.

Author(s): King SM, Superina R, Andrews W, Winston DJ, Dunn S, Busuttil RW, Colombani P, Paradis K

Affiliation(s): Department of Pediatrics and Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Publication date & source: 1997-11, Clin Infect Dis., 25(5):1173-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

A randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted to determine the benefit of ganciclovir (5 mg/[kg x d]) for 30 days in addition to intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) for 16 weeks for prevention of primary cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in children receiving liver transplants. Patients were monitored for 6 months after transplantation. The two groups of patients (recipients of 29 ganciclovir plus IVIG and 27 recipients of IVIG alone) were similar in terms of age, sex, and underlying disease. The incidence of CMV disease among the ganciclovir plus IVIG recipients and the IVIG alone recipients was 17% and 26%, respectively, and the time to disease in these recipients was 46 days and 32 days, respectively. There was no difference between groups in terms of survival; episodes of rejection, bacteremia, or fungemia; use of immunosuppressive agents; and incidence of leukopenia or thrombocytopenia. These results suggest that a 4-week course of ganciclovir with IVIG is not more effective than IVIG alone for prevention of primary CMV disease. Since short-term prophylaxis with ganciclovir may delay the onset of CMV disease, further studies with a longer course of ganciclovir prophylaxis are warranted.

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