Influenza infection in patients before and after liver transplantation



Infection with influenza virus poses specific problems in pediatric and adult liver transplant recipients, both before and after liver transplantation. These include a higher rate of pulmonary and extrapulmonary complications, development of rejection with graft dysfunction, prolonged shedding of influenza virus, and increased drug-resistance. Hepatic decompensation may occur during influenza infection in patients with cirrhosis. Current prophylaxis includes yearly vaccination with trivalent inactivated vaccine. Appropriate diagnosis and prompt treatment of any upper respiratory infections are indicated in these patients. In this review, we describe a case of influenza viral pneumonia in an adult liver transplant recipient, review basic and clinical aspects of influenza infection in this patient population, and discuss current modes of prevention and treatment in detail.