Clinical outcomes of solid organ transplant recipients with ehrlichiosis

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K.L. Lawrence, M.R. Morrell, G.A. Storch, R.R. Hachem, E.P. Trulock. Clinical outcomes of solid organ transplant recipients with ehrlichiosis. Transpl Infect Dis 2009: 11: 203–210. All rights reserved


Because of our experience with severe Ehrlichia infections in lung transplant recipients, we reviewed all cases of ehrlichiosis in solid organ transplant recipients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Between 1996 and 2007, 25 cases of ehrlichiosis were identified. We retrospectively collected demographic, clinical, laboratory, and outcomes data, and we compared the 5 cases in lung transplant recipients with 20 cases in other solid organ transplant recipients (heart, 2; kidney, 13; liver, 5). The presenting symptoms in the majority of both groups consisted of fever and headache. Clinical outcomes were worse in the lung transplant group and included a greater need for intensive care unit treatment (80% vs. 20%, P=0.02), longer length of hospital stay (21 vs. 5 days, P=0.02), and propensity to develop acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome (60% vs. 10%, P=0.04). No mortalities occurred in either group of patients. In an endemic area, ehrlichiosis is not unusual in solid organ transplant recipients, and lung transplant recipients tend to have a more severe illness.

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