Monitoring of CD38high expression in peripheral blood CD8+ lymphocytes in patients after kidney transplantation as a marker of cytomegalovirus infection



Year of publication 2010
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Transplant Immunology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field Immunology
Keywords CD38; Cytomegalovirus; Kidney transplant
Description Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a life-threatening complication after solid organ transplantation. It usually appears in the first months after transplantation as a consequence of immunosuppression. The goal of this study was to evaluate the clinical significance of CD38high/CD3+8+ percentages in the detection of CMV infection in patients after kidney transplantation. Methods: In this retrospective study, 269 patients were monitored 2-3 months after renal transplantation for the percentage of CD38high/CD3+8+ lymphocytes estimated by flow-cytometry and for the number of CMV DNA copies in peripheral blood using a real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: CMV infection was diagnosed in 12 (4.5%) patients between the 31st and 63rd days after transplantation, and all of them had percentages of CD38high/CD3+8+ T lymphocytes above 20%. In 4 of them, CMV DNAemia in peripheral blood was not detected, and 2 of these suffered from tissue-invasive CMV disease. In 7 patients with CMV DNAemia, the CD38high/CD3+8+ T lymphocyte percentage did not exceed 20%, and these patients did not develop CMV infection requiring antiviral treatment. In 23 additional patients, a CD38high/CD3+CD8+ percentage above 20% was recorded without CMV DNAemia. All of the remaining 234 patients never exceeded the arbitrary limit of 20%. The estimated sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 91% using clinical decision on presence of CMV infection as a reference value, respectively. The estimated negative predictive value was 100%; however, the estimated positive predictive value was quite low (34%). Conclusions: CD38high/CD3+8+ lymphocyte percentage seems to be a useful additional diagnostic marker for CMV infection in patients after kidney transplantation, especially when patients are in risk of a tissue-invasive disease when CMV DNA copies may not be detectable in peripheral blood.
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