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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2004 Dec;23(12):1376-81.

A survey of anti-fungal management in lung transplantation.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt Transplant Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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