BACKGROUND: The use of (val)ganciclovir is complicated by toxicity, slow response to treatment and acquired resistance.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate a routine therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) programme for ganciclovir in a transplant patient population.
METHODS: An observational study was performed in transplant recipients from June 2018 to February 2020. Dose adjustments were advised by the TDM pharmacist as part of clinical care. For prophylaxis, a trough concentration (Cmin) of 1-2 mg/L and an AUC24h of >50 mg·h/L were aimed for. For treatment, a Cmin of 2-4 mg/L and an AUC24h of 80-120 mg·h/L were aimed for.
RESULTS: Ninety-five solid organ and stem cell transplant patients were enrolled. Overall, 450 serum concentrations were measured; with a median of 3 (IQR = 2-6) per patient. The median Cmin and AUC24h in the treatment and prophylaxis groups were 2.0 mg/L and 90 mg·h/L and 0.9 mg/L and 67 mg·h/L, respectively. Significant intra- and inter-patient patient variability was observed. The majority of patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate of more than 120 mL/min/1.73 m2 and patients on continuous veno-venous haemofiltration showed underexposure. The highest Cmin and AUC24h values were associated with the increase in liver function markers and decline in WBC count as compared with baseline.
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed that a standard weight and kidney function-based dosing regimen resulted in highly variable ganciclovir Cmin and under- and over-exposure were observed in patients on dialysis and in patients with increased renal function. Clearly there is a need to explore the impact of concentration-guided dose adjustments in a prospective study.