Rhinosinusitis in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients: Analysis of 4562 Transplanted Patients.


Tzelnick S, Soudry E.
Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2018 Oct 26.



Survival rates of solid organ transplant recipients are steadily increasing. Chronic immunosuppression is a key to sustain the transplanted organ. Thus, these patients are at a higher risk for fulminant disease and severe complications of rhinosinusitis (RS). Surprisingly, this has been scarcely discussed in the literature.


To analyze the characteristics and disease course of RS in solid organ transplant recipients.


Retrospective study. Medical records of all solid organ transplant recipients with a diagnosis RS treated at a national transplant center between the years 2001 and 2016 were reviewed.


Of 4562 solid organ transplant recipients, a documented diagnosis of RS was identified only in 61 (1.3%) patients. Sixty-four patients presented with posttransplantation RS; of them, 54.5% had chronic RS (CRS) and the remaining 45.5% patients were diagnosed with acute RS. Microbial cultures grew almost exclusively bacterial pathogens. A documented invasive fungal infection was noted in only 2 patients. A total of 24 (40%) patients underwent endoscopic sinus surgery, the majority (22) for CRS. On subgroup analysis, surgical intervention was more frequent in lung transplant recipients ( P = .005). Neither specific disease nor surgical complications were found.


Interestingly, acute fulminant infection or sinusitis complications in solid organ transplant patients were much lower than expected. CRS in this patient group was less frequent than expected as well. Whether chronic immunosuppression minimizes the likelihood for CRS deserves further investigation. A more surgically oriented approach in CRS patients may be favored early in the management course of medically refractory patients in light of patients excellent outcomes.


immunosuppression; rhinosinusitis; solid organ transplantation