This retrospective study was conducted to identify the frequency of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in seronegative recipients of donor-specific transfusion (DST) and living-related donor (LRD) kidneys from seropositive donors. A total of 151 LRD transplants (TX) were performed at six transplant centers over a 3-year period. A total of 33 patients were identified as having been seronegative (pre-TX) for CMV, yet they had DST and a TX from a seropositive LRD. Of these patients, 12 (36.4%) seroconverted within the first 6 months post-TX and developed clinical CMV disease. Additional patients seroconverted, but did not have evidence of clinical disease and were not tested further. AU TX centers, with the exception of one, had seronegative patients that became ill after receiving a seropositive DST/LRD TX. Six patients manifested their disease as a febrile illness with leukopenia and liver enzyme elevations, four had pneumonitis, and two developed CMV ulcerations of the colon (one of whom died from resultant sepsis). Of the 36 seronegative patients who received seronegative DST/ LRD TX none became ill with CMV disease. Of the 72 seropositive patients who received DST/LRD TX, only 2 (2.8%) developed CMV illness (one, seropositive into seropositive, the other, seronegative into seropositive). Of the 33 seronegative patients receiving seropositive DST/LRD TX, 17 received antilymphocyte preparations (ALP), and 8 of these became ill (47.1%). Of 16 patients not receiving ALP, 5 (31.3%) developed clinical CMV illness. Of the 33 patients who were identified as having been seronegative for CMV yet received seropositive DST/LRD TX, the 12 who did develop CMV illness had two graft losses, one death, and a serum creatinine for the remaining 9 patients of 2.3±1.6 at last follow-up. The remaining 21 patients who developed no illness had a serum creatinine of 1.3 ± 0.6 with no graft losses at the last follow-up. This evidence suggests that a prospective TX recipient who is seronegative for CMV who receives DST/LRD TX from a seropositive family member has a significant risk for developing morbidity related to clinical CMV illness.
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