The rapid diagnosis of pulmonary infections in solid organ transplant recipients

Philip C. Johnson, Katherine M. Hogg, george a sarosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

A rapid diagnostic team was formed to facilitate the diagnosis of pulmonary infections in solid organ transplant recipients. Seventy-seven renal and three liver transplant recipients developed 86 episodes of pneumonitis between 6 and 2,410 days posttransplant (median, 117 days). A diagnosis was established in all but seven patients. More than one diagnosis was established in 25. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) occurred in 51 episodes, bacterial pneumonia in 16 episodes, Pneumocystis carinii (PCP) in 11 episodes, fungal or Nocardia in 10 episodes, and Legionellosis in six episodes. Over half of the episodes of pneumonitis occurred in the period 1 to 4 months posttransplant. Bacterial pneumonia occurred significantly later than pneumonitis caused by PCP, Legionella, or CMV. Death occurred in 24 transplant recipients (31 %) including 19 of 49 patients (39%) with CMV. Diffuse disease was the most common abnormality noted on initial chest roentgenogram (79 of 111, 71%). Interstitial infiltrates were the most common type of radiographic lesion observed, accounting for 62 of 111 (56%). Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed in 69 transplant recipients. Thirty-six of the 65 diagnoses made were established early, within 24 hours after bronchoscopy. Of the remaining diagnoses established later than 24 hours, all but one case of CMV was included. Bronchial alveolar lavage alone established 31 of the diagnoses. Bronchial brushings alone established only six cases, including five episodes of bacterial pneumonia and one case of CMV. We conclude that a team approach relying on fiberoptic bronchoscopy is useful in establishing the diagnosis of pulmonary infections in solid organ transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Respiratory Infections
Volume5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

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