Influenza B virus infection in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients

T. J. Mauch, S. Bratton, T. Myers, E. Krane, S. R. Gentry, C. E. Kashtan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Objective. Influenza B virus causes epidemic infection in normal children, but only one case of infection in an immunocompromised solid organ transplant (SOT) recipient has been reported. Characterization of the clinical course of influenza B virus infection in pediatric SOT recipients may increase the utilization of preventive and therapeutic interventions by pediatricians caring for these immunocompromised children. Design. Retrospective chart review of patients whose respiratory viral cultures yielded influenza B from January 1989 through March 1992. Patients. Twelve pediatric SOT recipients with influenza B virus infection were identified. These included five renal, four hepatic, and three cardiac allograft recipients, ranging from 19 months to 17 years 9 months of age (median 6 years 2 months). The posttransplant interval ranged from 6 weeks to 4 years 6 months (average 26.7 months). No patient had been immunized against influenza. Exposure histories were documented for eight children; five of these occurred in the hospital. Results. Clinical symptoms included fever (12/12), respiratory (11/12), or gastrointestinal complaints (8/12). Five patients had neurologic involvement; one died of uncal herniation. Ten children were hospitalized (median duration, 3 days; range, 2 to 79 days). Two patients (post-transplant interval, 3 to 8 months) required mechanical ventilation, and one of these received aerosolized ribavirin. Three children had concurrent allograft rejection. Conclusions. Influenza B infection is potentially life-threatening in pediatric SOT recipients. We recommend annual immunization of pediatric SOT recipients, their household contacts, and health care workers. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of influenza vaccination in pediatric SOT recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • complications
  • enceph alopathy
  • immunosuppression
  • influenza B virus
  • pneumonitis
  • rejection
  • ribavirin
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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