Children post liver transplantation hospitalized with fever are at a high risk for bacterial infections

L. Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, Y. Mozer-Glassberg, E. Bilavsky, R. Yassin, R. Shamir, J. Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although infections post liver transplantation are a main cause of morbidity and mortality, data are limited on transplanted children. The objective of this study was to investigate the incidence, etiology, and predictors of infection in pediatric liver transplant recipients (LTR) in the specific practical clinical setting of hospitalization for fever in order to elucidate the appropriate management of these patients. Methods: Clinical and laboratory data were retrospectively collected for all febrile pediatric LTR hospitalized from 2004 to 2012. Results: We analyzed 133 hospital admissions for fever among 44 pediatric LTR. Of these, 73 bacterial (54.8%) and 46 viral infections (34.5%) were diagnosed. No cases of protozoa or fungal infections were reported. Bacterial infections were most frequent during the first year post transplantation with ascending cholangitis being the most prevalent. Twenty-six (36%) bacterial infections were microbiologically documented and 47 (64%) were clinically documented. Of the microbiologically confirmed cases, gram-negative bacteria, namely Enterobacteriaceae, were most common (57.7%). Seven cases of bacteremia were observed including 1 case presenting with severe sepsis. Compared with the white blood cell count and absolute neutrophil count, C-reactive protein level was found to be a more sensitive biomarker for bacterial disease. Older age on admission was a significant risk factor for bacterial infection. Conclusion: Febrile hospitalized pediatric LTR are immunocompromised hosts at high risk for bacterial infections, and usually warrant prompt evaluation and empirical antibiotic treatment upon admission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-340
Number of pages8
JournalTransplant Infectious Disease
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • C-reactive protein
  • bacterial infection
  • fever
  • liver transplantation
  • pediatric

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