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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 75

of 'Lung transplantation: General guidelines for recipient selection'

A survey of anti-fungal management in lung transplantation.
Dummer JS, Lazariashvilli N, Barnes J, Ninan M, Milstone AP
J Heart Lung Transplant. 2004;23(12):1376.
BACKGROUND: Fungal infections are an important complication of lung transplantation, but no controlled studies of their management have been performed. Knowledge of actual anti-fungal strategies may aid in the design of future prospective studies.
METHODS: Thirty-seven of 69 active lung transplant centers, accounting for 66% of all US lung transplantations, responded to our survey. The survey focused on fungal surveillance, pre- and post-transplant prophylaxis, and approach to fungal colonization.
RESULTS: The median number of lung transplantations performed by the centers in 1999 was 14 per year (range, 1-52), and median time that centers were in in operation was 9 years (range, 2-15 years). Seventy percent of centers had a transplant infectious diseases specialist. Pre-transplant fungal surveillance was performed by 81% of centers, with 67% of these surveying all patients and the remainder surveying only sub-sets of patients. Seventy-two percent of all centers started anti-fungal treatment if Aspergillus spp were isolated before transplantation. Itraconazole was the preferred agent (86%). After transplantation, 76% of centers gave anti-fungal prophylaxis, although 24% of these did so only in selected patients. Prophylactic agents in order of preference were inhaled amphotericin B (61%), itraconazole (46%), parenteral amphotericin formulations (25%), and fluconazole (21%); many centers used more than 1 agent. Prophylaxis was initiated within 24 hours by 71% and within 1 week by all centers. Median duration of prophylaxis was 3 months (range,<1 month-lifetime). All 37 centers used anti-fungal therapy if colonization with Aspergillus spp was detected for a median duration of 4.5 months. Itraconazole was the preferred agent. Only 59% of centers treated patients colonized with Candida spp. In a statistical analysis, centers with larger volumes were less likely to treat pre-transplant colonization with Candida spp but more likely to use agents other than itraconazole for post-transplant colonization with Aspergillus spp. Only 14% of centers engaged in any anti-fungal research at the time of the survey.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of surveyed lung transplant programs actively manage fungal infection with prophylaxis or pre-emptive therapy, despite the absence of controlled trials. This survey may provide an impetus and a basis for designing prospective studies.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt Transplant Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.