BK virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis (BKV-HC) is a severe complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. So far, no specific antiviral drug with proven efficacy has been approved for treating BKV-HC. Leflunomide is an immunosuppressive drug with antiviral activity and has been used in treating BKV-associated nephropathy after renal transplantation. This is the first report on the efficacy and safety of leflunomide in the treatment of BKV-HC. From January 2006 to January 2009, 89 patients received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and among them, 18 patients were identified as having BKV-HC, with a 20% cumulative incidence. Fourteen patients were treated with oral leflunomide. Three days of 100 mg/day leflunomide was used as loading doses and followed by maintenance doses of 20 mg/day. The urinary BKV-DNA load was monitored weekly by real-time quantitative PCR. The efficacy was evaluated on day 20 after leflunomide treatment. Seven patients (50%) achieved complete remission, 5 patients (35.7%) achieved partial remission, and 2 patients (14.3%) had more than a 1-log reduction in urinary BKV-DNA loads after treatment. During the leflunomide treatment, the graft-versus-host disease of the patients did not progress, and the dosages of the immunosuppressant were reduced simultaneously. One patient discontinued treatment because of intolerable gastrointestinal symptoms. Neutropenia occurred in 2 cases. These preliminary data suggest that leflunomide may be a potentially effective medication for treating BKV-HC without significant toxicity, but evidence supporting its use requires randomized controlled trials.

Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.