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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


MARTINY, Patrícia Borba et al. Comparison of the performance of polymerase chain reaction and pp65 antigenemia for the detection of human cytomegalovirus in immunosuppressed patients. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.3, pp.286-289.  Epub May 27, 2011. ISSN 0037-8682.

INTRODUCTION: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is often reactive in latently infected immunosuppressed patients. Accordingly, HCMV remains one of the most common infections following solid organ and hemopoietic stem cell transplantations, resulting in significant morbidity, graft loss and occasional mortality. The early diagnosis of HCMV disease is important in immunosuppressed patients, since in these individuals, preemptive treatment is useful. The objective of this study was to compare the performance of the in-house qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and pp65 antigenemia to HCMV infection in immunosuppressed patients in the Hospital de Clínicas of Porto Alegre (HCPA). METHODS: A total of 216 blood samples collected between August 2006 and January 2007 were investigated. RESULTS: Among the samples analyzed, 81 (37.5%) were HCMV-positive by PCR, while 48 (22.2%) were positive for antigenemia. Considering antigenemia as the gold standard, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values and negative predictive values for PCR were 87.5%, 76.8%, 51.8% and 95.5% respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrated that qualitative PCR has high sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV). Consequently PCR is especially indicated for the initial diagnosis of HCMV infection. In the case of preemptive treatment strategy, identification of patients at high-risk for HCMV disease is fundamental and PCR can be useful tool.

Keywords : Humancytomegalovirus; Antigenemia; Polymerase chain reaction; Immunosuppressed patients; Preemptive therapy.

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