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A Duke Medicine study finds that extending the standard post-transplant antiviral medication from three months to 12 can slash CMV virus infection rates for lung transplant patients.
While 65 percent of lung transplant patients who receive the standard course of medication contract CMV, only 10 percent of patients do who receive the longer course, and their pneumonia rate is only a seventh of those who receive the shorter course of medication.
"It's really not adequate just to say, well, we're going to give you a drug for a few months and delay CMV. What we really need to do is completely prevent CMV from happening, and I'm hopeful that this strategy will allow us to completely prevent CMV from happening in these patients," says pulmonologist Scott Palmer, MD.