Background: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) reactivation is a serious complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Although low-dose acyclovir can prevent VZV reactivation after HSCT in adults, the efficacy of a dose of acyclovir lower than the recommended dose, such as 60–80 mg/kg/day in children, is unclear. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the incidence of VZV reactivation after HSCT during and after low-dose acyclovir administration for preventing VZV reactivation in children. Methods: This single-center retrospective study included children aged ≤15 years who received oral acyclovir (at 15 mg/kg/day) to prevent VZV reactivation after HSCT. We examined the cumulative incidence of VZV reactivation after HSCT, during and after prophylactic acyclovir administration. Results: Fifty-three eligible patients were included in this study, of whom 37 underwent allogeneic HSCT. The median duration of prophylactic acyclovir therapy was 264 days (range: 69–1140 days). VZV reactivation occurred in 13 patients (24.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 14.9–37.6). The cumulative incidence of VZV reactivation 1 and 2 years after HSCT was 6.26% (95% CI: 1.60–15.5) and 20.9% (95% CI: 10.3–34.0), respectively. While only one patient developed VZV reactivation during the administration of prophylactic acyclovir, the cumulative incidence of VZV reactivation increased to 24.2% (95% CI: 12.5–38.0) 1 year after the cessation of acyclovir. Conclusion: Low-dose acyclovir (15 mg/kg/day) could be effective for preventing VZV reactivation after HSCT in children because VZV reactivation seldom occurs during the administration of 15 mg/kg/day acyclovir.
- low-dose acyclovir
- varicella-zoster virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health