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Risk Factors for Cytomegalovirus Retinitis Following Bone Marrow Transplantation From Unrelated Donors in Patients With Severe Aplastic Anemia or Myelodysplasia

Abstract

Two cases of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis following bone marrow transplantation (BMT) from unrelated donors are reported. 1 patient had been treated for severe aplastic anemia (SAA) and the other for hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Because first line therapy with antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and cyclosporin A (CsA) had failed, BMT was performed following a conditioning regimen of ATG, cyclophosphamide, and total lymphoid irradiation. Treatment for CMV retinitis was successfully carried out with gancyclovir (systemic and intraocular injection), foscarnet, and photocoagulation (Case 1) and gancyclovir and foscarnet (Case 2). Both patients also developed Epstein-Barr virus—associated lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-LPD). We compared these 2 cases with 14 SAA patients who did not develop CMV retinitis after BMT using marrow from either HLA-identical siblings (n = 9) or from unrelated donors (n = 5). Unlike the retinitis patients, the latter 5 patients received ATG only once.The retinitis patients had significantly lower CD4+ T-cell levels in their peripheral blood than the 14 patients who did not develop CMV retinitis. We believe that repeated treatment with ATG and transplantation from unrelated donors may lead to immune dysfunction that could increase the likelihood of CMV retinitis, as well as LPD. For such BMT patients, regular ophthalmic examinations and careful testing for CMV antigenemia are recommended.

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Correspondence to Kikuko Kuriyama or Shinjiro Todo or Satoshi Ikushima or Noriko Fujii or Takao Yoshihara or Kentaro Tsunamoto or Mayumi Naya or Makoto Hojo or Shigeyoshi Hibi or Akira Morimoto or Shinsaku Imashuku.

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Kuriyama, K., Todo, S., Ikushima, S. et al. Risk Factors for Cytomegalovirus Retinitis Following Bone Marrow Transplantation From Unrelated Donors in Patients With Severe Aplastic Anemia or Myelodysplasia. Int J Hematol 74, 455–460 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02982092

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Key words

  • Antithymocyte globulin
  • Cytomegalovirus retinitis
  • Unrelated bone marrow transplantation
  • Severe aplastic anemia
  • Hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome