Background: Valganciclovir (VGC) has recently been proved efficacious for the prophylaxis and treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in transplant recipients. Leucopenia is a troublesome complication of VGC but the possible risk factors are unknown. Methods and Results: Once a cardiac recipient's quantitative real-time CMV-polymerase chain reaction result showed positive, VGC was administered for 3 months. The 61 cardiac recipients enrolled in this study were divided into 2 groups: non-leucopenia group (n=29) and leucopenia group (n=32). The white blood cell (WBC) counts in the leucopenia group dropped approximately 55.6% in the first month after VGC therapy (pre-VGC WBC count: 5,544 cells/mm3 vs post-VGC WBC count: 2,460 cells/mm3, p<0.0001). The most significant difference between the 2 groups was body mass index (BMI, 23.04 vs 25.84, p=0.008), which was the impact factor of VGC-induced leucopenia. Conclusion: Severe leucopenia may develop after VGC therapy in Chinese cardiac recipients, especially those with lower BMI.
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