Invasive aspergillosis in organ transplant recipients: new issues in epidemiologic characteristics, diagnosis, and management.


Singh N

Date: 7 September 2006


Changing transplantation practices, novel immunosuppressive protocols, and evolving recipient characteristics have led to notable changes in the epidemiology of invasive aspergillosis in transplant recipients. The frequency of disseminated infection and of central nervous system involvement has declined significantly in organ transplant recipients in the recent years. Amongst variables that may have contributed to these trends is an overall lesser severity of illness of transplant recipients in the current era. Calcineurin-inhibitor immunosuppressive agents may also have had a role in altering the disease course and the risk of dissemination. A new paradigm in the management of post-transplant immunosuppression is the use of calcineurin-inhibitor and corticosteroid sparing regimens by pretreatment of the recipient with T-cell depleting agents (Campath 1-H or thymoglobulin) and utilization of minimal post-transplant immunosuppression. The impact of these potent lymphoablative regimens on opportunistic mycoses in organ transplant recipients remains to be fully discerned. Although still unacceptably high, the mortality rate in organ transplant recipients with invasive aspergillosis in the current era appears to have declined. A focus of a great interest and controversy is the use of combination therapy for invasive aspergillosis in transplant recipients

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