The authors have investigated the effectiveness of virus detection from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples for the identification of symptomatic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in lung transplant recipients.Methods.
Thus, 275 BAL samples taken from 105 lung transplant recipients during follow-up were analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and virus isolation.Results.
Quantitative PCR detected virus in all 24 BAL samples taken at onset of symptomatic disease, and virus culture in only 7 samples (29.2%). Twenty-three of 251 BAL samples (9.2%) were positive by PCR, although they were obtained in an asymptomatic phase. Quantitation of CMV DNA from BAL allowed no discrimination between symptomatic and asymptomatic infection in individual cases. However, when the urea dilution method was used to recalculate the CMV DNA concentration for the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) diluted in the BAL, a CMV DNA level of more than 104 copies/mL ELF was clearly associated with symptomatic disease.Conclusion.
The CMV DNA level in ELF may be a marker for symptomatic CMV infection.