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Pathol Res Pract. 2001;197(3):211-5.

Fulminant toxoplasmosis in a heart transplant recipient.

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Institute of Pathology, University Hospital RWTH, Aachen, Germany.


Toxoplasma gondii infections in heart transplant recipients emerge in most cases as newly acquired infections of the immunocompromised sero-negative patient from an exogenous source, usually the donor organ. We report on a 64-year-old heart transplant recipient who developed pneumonitis, myocarditis, and hyperacute encephalitis three weeks after transplantation. Histopathological examination of an endomyocardial biopsy revealed fulminant T. gondii infection. Although appropriate chemotherapy was administered immediately, the patient died the next day. Our case demonstrates that if a histological diagnosis is not rendered in time, fulminant toxoplasmosis may lead to a fatal outcome. In conclusion, a general screening of the donors and recipients for opportunistic infections, including toxoplasmosis, and an appropriate prophylaxis should always be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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