Microbiological spectrum and outcome of infectious complications following small bowel transplantation (SBT) have not been thoroughly characterized. We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients undergoing SBT from 2004 to 2013 in Spain. Sixty-nine patients underwent a total of 87 SBT procedures (65 pediatric, 22 adult). The median follow-up was 867 days. Overall, 81 transplant patients (93.1%) developed 263 episodes of infection (incidence rate: 2.81 episodes per 1000 transplant-days), with no significant differences between adult and pediatric populations. Most infections were bacterial (47.5%). Despite universal prophylaxis, 22 transplant patients (25.3%) developed cytomegalovirus disease, mainly in the form of enteritis. Specifically, 54 episodes of opportunistic infection (OI) occurred in 35 transplant patients. Infection was the major cause of mortality (17 of 24 deaths). Multivariate analysis identified retransplantation (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.21; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02–4.80; p = 0.046) and posttransplant renal replacement therapy (RRT; HR: 4.19; 95% CI: 1.40–12.60; p = 0.011) as risk factors for OI. RRT was also a risk factor for invasive fungal disease (IFD; HR: 24.90; 95% CI: 5.35–115.91; p < 0.001). In conclusion, infection is the most frequent complication and the leading cause of death following SBT. Posttransplant RRT and retransplantation identify those recipients at high risk for developing OI and IFD.
Analysis of clinical and microbiological data of 87 small bowel transplant patients demonstrates that infection is a major complication after transplant, and retransplantation and the posttransplant requirement for renal replacement therapy are associated with a higher risk of developing opportunistic infections and invasive fungal disease.