Association of BK virus with failure of prophylaxis against hemorrhagic cystitis following bone marrow transplantation

Atul Bedi, Carole B. Miller, Janet L. Hanson, Steven Goodman, Richard F. Ambinder, Patricia Charache, Ray R. Arthur, Richard J. Jones

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242 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hemorrhagic cystitis (HC) after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been ascribed to cyclophosphamide metabolites. HC has also been associated with excretion of the BK type of polyomavirus. The relative contributions of cyclophosphamide metabolites and BK virus in the development of HC following BMT are unknown. Patients and Methods: We conducted a randomized trial to compare mesna with forced diuresis for prophylaxis against HC in 147 BMT recipients. We studied the association of BK virus with HC in 95 consecutive BMT recipients by prospectively monitoring urinary excretion of BK virus using polymerase chain reaction amplification of viral gene sequences. Results: HC occurred in 37 of 147 (25.2%) transplant recipients. The incidence of HC was similar in patients given mesna (26.8%, 19 of 71) or forced diuresis (23.7%, 18 of 76), and in recipients of allogeneic (27.2%, 18 of 64) or autologous marrow (22.9%, 19 of 83). The incidence of HC was unrelated to primary disease, preparative regimen, or occurrence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Excretion of BK virus was demonstrated in 50 of 95 patients (52.6%); 38 patients (40%) had persistent BK viruria (≥ two consecutive positive samples). HC occurred in 19 of 38 patients (50%) with persistent BK viruria, in one of 12 (8.3%) with only a single urine sample positive for BK virus, and in none of 45 who did not excrete BK virus (P < .0001). Shedding of BK virus also had a strong temporal correlation with onset of HC (r = .95). Conclusion: Mesna and forced diuresis are equally effective in abrogating the urothelial toxicity of preparative regimens for BMT. Since HC after BMT is virtually always associated with persistent BK viruria, strategies aimed at the prevention or elimination of viruria in BK seropositive recipients are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1109
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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