J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2021 Jul 2:piab041. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piab041. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a significant source of morbidity and mortality among transplant recipients; the epidemiology is less understood in pediatric hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) cohorts. Furthermore, there is a paucity of data related to CMV prophylactic and preemptive strategies.
METHODS: A single-center retrospective observational cohort of allogeneic HCT recipients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia January 1, 2004-December 31, 2017 was constructed. Subjects were followed for 180 days after transplant to determine whether they had CMV infection or disease. Data on antiviral therapy were collected as were outcomes of CMV disease and adverse events (AEs) related to the antiviral therapy.
RESULTS: Between January 2004 and March 2017, 345 allogeneic HCTs in 333 patients undergoing CMV surveillance testing were identified. CMV DNAemia was detected during the 180-day follow-up in 89 (25.8%) HCTs. CMV recipient-positive transplants were most likely to have CMV infection (47%). Infection rates were high for those receiving a CMV-specific prophylaxis regimen (50%). CMV DNAemia progressed to CMV disease 11.2% of the time. Of 224 subjects receiving CMV-specific prophylaxis, 19.2% experienced ≥1 AE. Of 53 receiving preemptive therapy during any CMV DNAemia episode, 32.1% experienced ≥1 AE.
CONCLUSIONS: CMV infection is common in pediatric allogeneic HCT recipients. The CMV-specific prophylaxis regimen employed in this cohort did not effectively prevent DNAemia, progression to CMV disease was uncommon, and AEs from prophylaxis and preemptive therapy were frequent. Novel approaches that reduce the impact of CMV on pediatric allogeneic HCT recipients are needed.