Background. Post-lung transplant infection is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The cause and incidence are similar in many series; however, infections such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis are influenced by the epidemiologic situation. The authors present a prospective and observational study to define the incidence, clinical presentation, and course of tuberculosis in a cohort of lung transplant patients at a single center in Spain. Methods. Between 1990 and 2002, cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity testing and pathologic and microbiologic study of explanted lungs were conducted in 187 lung transplant patients. Serial bronchoscopies with transbronchial biopsy and bronchioalveolar lavage were performed during follow-up. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was established only when M. tuberculosis was identified in any sample or when histopathologic study was conclusive. Results. Forty-eight patients were classified as anergic (25.6%) and 61 (32.6%) were classified as having a positive tuberculin skin test. Of the 109 patients, 95 received latent tuberculosis infection prophylaxis. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 12 patients (6.41%); in six of them, diagnosis was determined from the explanted lungs. The remainder were diagnosed during follow-up. Fever and dyspnea were the most common symptoms. Chest radiographic findings presented an alveolar pattern. All patients responded well to antituberculous therapy; no deaths were attributable to tuberculosis. Conclusions. In the authors' experience, tuberculosis is not rare in lung transplant patients and can be managed successfully with antituberculous therapy without rifampin. A systematic protocol for diagnosing tuberculosis of the explanted lung is useful for reducing tuberculous complications of the implanted lung.
- Lung transplantation