Prophylactic CMV therapy does not improve three-yr patient and graft survival compared to preemptive therapy

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Despite increasing evidence in favor of prophylactic valganciclovir treatment in kidney transplant recipients for the prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, the impact of preemptive vs. prophylactic treatment on long-term clinical outcomes is unclear. In this retrospective study, 187 kidney transplant recipients with serologic intermediate-risk constellation (recipient CMV IgG positive) received either preemptive or prophylactic treatment with valganciclovir. Patient survival (primary endpoint), graft survival, viremia rates, and other CMV-related outcomes were analyzed. Prophylactic therapy reduced the rates for CMV viremia during the first year (hazard ratio: 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.30–0.75; p < 0.001). There was a trend for higher three-yr patient mortality in the prophylactic group (hazard ratio: 5.08, 95% CI 0.62–41.3; p = 0.091), and the rate of graft loss was not reduced (hazard ratio: 0.93, 95% CI 0.32–2.68; p = 0.894). Estimated glomerular filtration rate over three yr was on average 6.8 mL/min/1.73 m2 lower in the prophylactic group (95% CI −11.68 to −1.81; p = 0.007) using a multivariate random effects model but showed more improvement over time. Prophylactic valganciclovir treatment reduced the rate of CMV infections during the first year post-transplant but no effects of prophylactic treatment on patient and graft survival or kidney function over three yr were observed.

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