Cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigenaemia for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of CMV‐associated disease after bone marrow transplantation

Hisashi Gondo, Toshio Minematsu, Mine Harada, Koichi Akashi, Shin Hayashi, Shuichi Taniguchi, Kazuo Yamasaki, Tsunefumi Shibuya, Yasushi Takamatsu, Takanori Teshima, Tetsuya Eto, Koji Nagafuji, Shin‐ichi ‐i Mizuno, Kenji Hosoda, Ryoichi Mori, Yoichi Minamishima, Yoshiyuki Niho

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104 Citations (Scopus)


A technique for the rapid detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigen‐positive blood leucocytes (CMV antigenaemia) was evaluated in 15 marrow transplant patients as a means of diagnosis and for monitoring CMV‐associated disease. CMV antigenaemia was determined by direct immunoperoxidase staining of leucocytes with a peroxidase‐labelled monoclonal antibody, HRP‐C7, which binds an immediate‐early antigen of human CMV. CMV antigenaemia occurred in 7/15 marrow transplant patients (47%) and was initially detected between 4 and 6 weeks after transplantation. CMV‐associated diseases developed in 3/15 patients (20%). All patients with CMV‐associated disease had a relatively large number of CMV antigen‐positive leucocytes, exceeding 10 per 50000 white blood cells (WBCs). In the remaining 12 patients, CMV antigen‐positive leucocytes were less than 10 per 50000 WBCs or were undetectable. CMV‐associated disease did not develop in these patients during the period of monitoring. CMV antigen‐positive leucocytes were detected more frequently in patients who developed acute graft‐versus‐host disease (GVHD) or haemorrhagic cystitis than in those without such complications. CMV antigens were detectable from 1 to 4 weeks before the onset of CMV‐associated disease which allowed initiation of ganciclovir treatment at an early stage. The degree of CMV antigenaemia paralleled the clinical symptoms and signs, higher degrees of antigenaemia being associated with more significant disease. Thus, the detection of CMV antigen‐positive blood leucocytes is useful for the diagnosis and monitoring of CMV‐associated disease following bone marrow transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology


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