Absence of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in liver transplantation recipients receiving short-term (3-month) prophylaxis


James F Trotter, Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 1635 N. Ursula, B-154, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Tel: +1 720-848-2245
Fax: +1 720-848-2246
Email: james.trotter@uchsc.edu


Abstract: Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly known as Pneumocystis carinii) is a fungal pathogen that causes pneumonia (PCP) in liver transplant recipients. Consequently, prophylaxis with trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ) is typically administered for at least 1 year at most liver transplant programs. At our center we have utilized a short-term (3-month) prophylactic regimen with TMP/SMZ for the past decade and report our experience and speculate on the potential widespread application of this approach.

Methods. For patients transplanted at our center between January 1997 and January 2007, we recorded all documented PCP infections by review of our liver transplant database and hospital-based electronic medical records system, both of which record all infections and culture results.

Results. We recorded no cases of PCP in any of the liver transplant recipients at our center during the study period.

Conclusions. We report the absence of PCP in a large cohort of liver transplant recipients receiving a short-term (3-month) prophylaxis with TMP/SMZ. These findings provide a rational basis to consider short-term (3-month) PCP prophylaxis or avoidance of prophylaxis altogether in selected low-risk patients.