Kidney Transplant Recipients Not "Out Of The Woods": Prevalent And Serious Complication

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Bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infections may be more common in Kidney Transplant recipients within the first 9-months post-transplant than the current literature suggests, according to a new study presented at ID Week, on October 10, 2013. CMV infection is among the most prevalent and serious infectious complications following a Kidney Transplant. Many people simply believe that they are "out of the woods" after 9-months said study investigator Kieren Marr, MD, a Professor of Medicine and Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Even after 100 days, the risk is still high for people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Individuals may need to be prescribed more effective medication. 

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Unfortunately, there is no standard of care for CMV and there has been little past evidence on which medication is best to administer, suggested Katherine Perez, an infectious diseases clinical specialist at Houston Methodist Hospital. What is even more troubling for the CKD Community is that bloodstream infection rates in all Organ Transplant patients are not only higher than expected, but a large percentage of the patients infected are Kidney Transplant recipients. Bacteremia occurred in 13 (3.2%) of the 406 patients studied within the first  9-months post-transplant, and 9 of the 13 infections were in Kidney Transplant recipients.

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The good news is that another recent study presented at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, found Cidofovir (injectable antiviral medication), with or without adjunctive therapy, may be an appropriate treatment option for CMV Infections in Kidney (Organ) Transplant recipients. The study is the first to show the possible usefulness of Cidofovir in treating CMV Infections among Kidney Transplant recipients, and the findings could give clinicians some guidance on what to use, Dr. Perez said.

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13 of 14 patients treated with Cidofovir achieved CMV clearance at a median time of 4.5 months. No significant changes in renal function were found based on serum creatinine clearance throughout treatment with Cidofovir. CMV is common and represents a significant therapeutic challenge. Surgeons and Nephrologists who manage  Kidney Transplant patients need standardized treatment strategies. Cidofovir may offer such standardization and provide important benefits in terms of Kidney Transplant survival. KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss the use of Cidofovir with your Kidney Transplant Team to correct CMV after transplantation.

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References: 

"Bacteremia in SOT Patients More Common Than Thought." Renal Urology News.

"Drug May Work For Resistant CMV Infections in Transplant Recipients." Renal Urology News.