How is cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia prevented?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is prevented in transplant patients by attempts to match the CMV seropositivity between the donor and the recipient and by careful administration of CMV-negative transfusions of blood and blood products.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients who are CMV-negative are given prophylactic ganciclovir before and after transplantation. Solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients who are CMV-negative and receiving their organ from CMV-positive donors typically receive ganciclovir for three months post transplantation.

Preemptive therapy (with ganciclovir) based on detection of CMV in bronchoalveolar lavage specimens, CMV pp65 antigenemia, and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in blood after transplantation has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of post-transplant CMV pneumonia.

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