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Rapidly fatal disseminated acanthamoebiasis in a single lung transplant recipient

Kamyar Afshar, Ayana BoydKing, Sivagini Ganesh, Cynthia Herrington, P. Michael McFadden

Ann Transplant 2013; 18:107-110

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.883846


Background: Lung transplant recipients are at great risk for developing various infectious complications. These infections portend a significant morbidity and mortality throughout their lifetime following transplantation. At times, cutaneous manifestations are the only clues to systemic infection.
Case Report: A 62 year-old man with a history of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis presented 6 months after receiving bilateral sequential cadaveric lung transplantation for anorexia, early satiety, weight loss, exertional dsypnea, arthralgia, and depression. On exam, two rapidly growing non-painful 1.5–3 centimeter erythematous nodules with purulent draining on the anterior chest wall were noted. On Hospital Day 7, the patent was found to be un-responsive, hypotensive, and febrile. Brain imaging revealed diffuse thick nodular enhancement of leptomeningeal surface and multiple areas of hypodenisty associated with mass effect in the bilateral vermis and cerebellar hemispheres with effacement of the fourth ventricle. CSF PCR analysis showed Acanthamoeba sp. confirmed by the Center for Disease Control. Despite multi-modal therapy, his clinical course deteriorated and resulted in brain death.
Conclusion: Acanthamoeba infection is extremely rare in thoracic organ recipients. We report the fifth case of progressive disseminated acanthamoebiasis in a lung transplant recipient.

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