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Fungal infections following lung transplantation

Scott M Palmer, MD, MHS
Aimee Zaas, MD, MHS
Cameron Wolfe, MBBS (Hons)
Section Editors
Elbert P Trulock, MD
Carol A Kauffman, MD
Deputy Editor
Sheila Bond, MD


Lung transplantation is an effective treatment for a wide range of advanced lung diseases. While the survival of lung transplant recipients continues to improve [1], outcomes after lung transplantation remain inferior to other types of solid organ transplantation. Infectious complications contribute substantially to morbidity and mortality following lung transplantation.

Fungal infections are a frequent complication in lung transplant recipients, with one year cumulative incidence of 8.6 percent [2]. Aspergillus and Candida species cause the majority of fungal infections in lung transplant recipients; Cryptococcus spp, the agents of mucormycosis, endemic fungi (Histoplasma, Coccidioides, and Blastomyces spp), Scedosporium spp, Fusarium spp, and dematiaceous molds are other important causes (table 1) [3,4].

This topic reviews fungal infections in lung transplant recipients. Bacterial, viral, and mycobacterial infections in lung transplant recipients, as well as the evaluation, treatment, and prophylaxis of infection in solid organ transplant recipients, are reviewed separately. (See "Bacterial infections following lung transplantation" and "Prevention of cytomegalovirus infection in lung transplant recipients" and "Tuberculosis in solid organ transplant candidates and recipients" and "Nontuberculous mycobacterial infections in solid organ transplant candidates and recipients" and "Evaluation for infection before solid organ transplantation" and "Infection in the solid organ transplant recipient" and "Prophylaxis of infections in solid organ transplantation".)


Lung transplant recipients are at high risk of infectious complications due to the following factors:

The high level of immunosuppression required to prevent rejection

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 18, 2017.
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