This study was designed to evaluate the longitudinal history of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and to test the capacity of ganciclovir as effective therapy in CMV-seropositive renal transplant recipients. The CMV viremia was detected with CMV pp65 antigenemia assay in 153 renal transplants. The recipients were classified as having low-grade and high-grade CMV infections according to the severity of CMV infection. The recipients with low-grade CMV infections were observed without ganciclovir treatment, and the recipients with high-grade CMV infection were randomly assigned to ganciclovir-treated and untreated groups. The clinical course between low-grade and high-grade CMV infections was evaluated. All recipients with low-grade CMV infection (n = 62) showed spontaneous remission regardless of immunosuppresants. In high-grade CMV infection (n = 31), the ciclosporin A treated group (n = 11) showed no evidence of CMV disease, and the methylprednisolone-treated group (n = 8) showed CMV disease in 1 (25%) of 4 ganciclovir-untreated recipients. In the OKT3 group (n = 12), symptomatic CMV infection was observed in 6 (100%) ganciclovir-untreated recipients contrary to no CMV disease in the ganciclovir-treated group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the CMV antigenemia assay is effective in monitoring CMV viremia, and ganciclovir treatment should be done during early CMV viremia in OKT3-treated recipients.