Effect of infectious diseases on outcome after heart transplant

Diederik Van De Beek, Walter K. Kremers, Jose L. Del Pozo, Richard C. Daly, Brooks S. Edwards, Christopher G.A. McGregor, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine how often cardiac allograft recipients develop infectious diseases and how the infections affect these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively studied 313 patients who underwent heart transplant at Mayo Clinic's site in Rochester, MN, from January 1, 1988, through June 30, 2006. RESULTS: In the early postoperative period (ie, period between heart transplant and discharge from the hospital), infectious diseases occurred in 70 (22%) of 313 patients but were not associated with 1-year mortality; the most commonly infected sites were the lungs (7%), bloodstream (6%), upper respiratory tract (5%), and urinary tract (4%). In the 18 years after transplant, the cumulative incidence of infectious diseases was 93%; the most common infectious complications were skin and soft tissue (63%), urinary tract (46%), cytomegalovirus (40%), lung (36%), upper respiratory tract (23%), and varicella zoster virus (15%) infections. After adjustment for baseline predictors, lung (hazard ratio [HR], 3.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.49-6.02; P<.001) and central nervous system (HR, 4.48; 95% CI, 1.75-11.46; P=.002) infections were predictive of mortality. Serum creatinine levels (HR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.07-2.81; P=.02) and sirolimus use (HR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.00-7.36; P=.05) were predictive of lung infection. Death occurred during the study period in 95 (30%) of 313 patients, with a cumulative incidence of 71% at 18 years. The cause of death was infection in 17 (18%) of 95 patients. CONCLUSION: Early postoperative infectious complications are frequent in cardiac allograft recipients but are not associated with 1-year mortality. Lung and central nervous system infections are predictors of mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr van de Beek is supported by personal grants from the Meerwaldt Foundation and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw); NWO-Rubicon grant 2006 ( 019.2006.1.310.001 ).


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