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Hepatogastroenterology. 1992 Aug;39(4):362-5.

Major bacterial infections following liver transplantation: a prospective study.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Department, Hospital 12 De Octubre, Madrid, Spain.


The incidence and characteristics of major bacterial infections were studied prospectively in 50 consecutive adult patients who underwent liver transplantation (LT). All patients received the same protocol of immunosuppression, bowel decontamination, antibiotics prophylaxis, and follow-up. Thirty-two patients (64%) had at least one episode of major bacterial infection. One death was directly related to a bacterial infection, accounting for 13% of postoperative mortality. The most critical period for infection was the first 2 months after surgery, when 69% of the infections occurred. The most frequent clinical presentations were bacteremia, pneumonia and abdominal abscesses. Eighty percent of the bacteremias had an identifiable source, the most frequent being intravascular catheters. Gram-positive microorganisms (69%) predominated over gram-negative rods (26%) and anaerobes (5%). The use of selective bowel decontamination (SBD) with norfloxacin may explain this predominance. Major bacterial infections are an important source of morbidity and mortality after LT. Efforts to prevent these infections and to determine their source and specific treatment, will improve the management and the outcome of these patients in the future.

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