Hofflin, J.M.; Potasman, I.; Baldwin, J.C.; Oyer, P.E.; Stinson, E.B.; Remington, J.S.
The rate of infectious complications differed significantly in two groups of heart transplant recipients who received different immunosuppressive regimens. Compared with patients who received conventional immunosuppression, patients treated with cyclosporine had a lower rate of infectious complications, and the contribution of infection to observed mortality was lower. Herpes simplex virus caused less morbidity and there were fewer active cytomegalovirus infections in seropositive recipients treated with cyclosporine. The incidence of bacterial pulmonary infections and associated bacteremia also decreased impressively. A decrease in nocardial infections was offset by a rise in those due to Legionella species. The frequency of aspergillosis was decreased by 54% in the cyclosporine-treated group, but half of these infections disseminated beyond the lung and such dissemination was always fatal. Infections with Pneumocystis carinii were significantly less common with cyclosporine-based immunosuppression. Screening serologic tests for toxoplasma should be done routinely and consideration given to prophylaxis in heart transplant recipients at high risk.Hofflin, J.M. … [et al.]