Biopsies collected from gastroduodenal mucosa during endoscopic examination of 20 patients having undergone renal transplantation and subsequent immunosuppressive therapy showed cytomegalovirus (CMV) inclusion bodies in nine cases. CMV antibody titres were tested in all patients before and after the transplant procedure. Not all patients exhibited viraemia-related symptoms at the time of endoscopy. No correlation was found between the presence of CMV-type cells within the gastroduodenal mucosa, endoscopic and histological findings, the duration of the transplant, and the dosage of immunosuppressive drugs. The duodenum seems to be the elective site of CMV. The involvement of gastric mucosa seems to represents a worsening of the illness. Eight of nine patients with positive biopsies for CMV inclusion had negative pretransplant antibody titres to CMV. All nine patients were seropositive after transplantation and showed seroconversion. Five of 11 recipients with negative biopsies for CMV inclusion bodies, were seronegative before transplantation. Seroconversion occurred in five patients after the transplant; the other six had no rise in antibody titres. The lack of pre-transplant CMV antibody titre and its subsequent increase after transplantation identifies a greater risk of developing post-transplant CMV infection.
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