Immunocompromised patients are considered at increased risk from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. We examined the incidence and outcome of RSV infection in pediatric renal transplant (Tx) recipients on chronic immunosuppressive therapy. Of 173 recipients transplanted between November 1985 and April 1993, 5 (3%) developed RSV infection (age range 11-39 months). Initial immunosuppression included prednisone, azathioprine, cyclosporine, and polyclonal antibody therapy. Time from Tx to onset of RSV infection was 1 day to 7 months. Symptoms included rhinorrhea, cough, tachypnea, retractions, fever, wheezing, and abnormal chest X-ray. Treatment included bronchodilator therapy, bronchial drainage, ribavirin, and mist tent. Azathioprine was transiently withheld for leukopenia during treatment in 2 recipients. Three recipients developed biopsy-proven acute rejection during (n = 2) or immediately following (n = 1) RSV infection; all responded to corticosteroid treatment. RSV infection is not commonly diagnosed in pediatric renal Tx recipients. The course of RSV infection in our patients did not differ from that reported in normal children. The possible association between RSV and acute rejection warrants further observation. When diagnosed early, RSV infection does not appear to be associated with increased mortality in pediatric renal Tx recipients. Larger numbers of recipients need to be studied to confirm these results.
- Kidney transplant
- Respiratory syncytial virus