Aspergillus endophthalmitis: an unusual complication of disseminated infection in renal transplant patients

S. Schelenz, D. J. A. Goldsmith

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Endogenous Aspergillus endophthalmitis (AE) is a rare complication of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in transplant patients. In this report, we describe two patients with polycystic kidney disease, who developed AE with cerebral involvement after renal transplantation. Both patients received intense immunosuppression with methyl prednisolone and mycophenolate mofitil (MMF) because of persistent rejection, which rendered them diabetic and vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Endophthalmitis developed within six months of transplantation and was confirmed by microscopy and culture of the vitreous fluid. Patients were treated with combinations of different anti-fungal agents including liposomal amphotericin B, 5-flucytosine, itraconazole, voriconazole and terbinafine.

In an electronic MEDLINE review, we found eight further cases of AE in renal transplant patients between 1959 and September 2002. Based on this review, we identified possible risk factors including CMV infection, diabetes mellitus and treatment for rejection with agents such as methyl prednisolone and MMF. In 70% of cases the histology, microscopy or culture of vitreous fluid confirmed the diagnosis. The outcome of AE in renal transplant patients was poor with 70–100% mortality. The review of reported cases and current practice guidelines suggests that vitrectomy and intravitreal amphoterecin B is the treatment of choice. In addition, new antifungal agents with good CSF and ocular penetration such as voriconalzole should be considered for the treatment of invasive cerebral/ocular aspergillosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infection
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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