Because immunosuppression is required to control rejection, liver allograft recipients are susceptible to a variety of opportunistic pathogens. A total of 191 bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens from 89 patients (53 adults and 36 children) who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation was reviewed. One case each of cytomegalovirus (CMV), staphylococcal and Enterobacter pneumonia was diagnosed with the aid of pretransplant BAL. The pretransplant BAL in 62 patients showed rare yeasts in 24.2%; these probably represent oropharyngeal contaminants since the patients involved had no symptoms of Candida pneumonia. Among 54 patients who developed respiratory symptoms and underwent posttransplant BAL, 23 (42.6%) were infected with opportunistic pathogens, including Pneumocystis carinii (22.2%), CMV (22.2%) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) (7.4%). Frequently, infection with multiple organisms was present. Adults constituted 100% of the HSV-infected group, 69.2% of the CMV-infected group and 16.6% of the group infected with P. carinii. The diagnosis of these infections was aided by a combination of cytology, microbial culture and in situ hybridization techniques. Although BAL permitted the diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections, high mortality (62.5%) occurred with CMV and HSV pneumonia. Further studies into methods that permit earlier diagnoses of the infections are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-543
Number of pages5
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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