Abstract: Parvovirus B19 is a nonenveloped single‐stranded DNA virus that commonly causes a benign childhood infection typically manifesting as a ‘slapped‐cheek’ rash. In immunodeficient hosts, this infection can cause persistent anemia and occasionally pancytopenia. Recently, direct renal involvement has been reported in renal transplant recipients leading to various forms of glomerulopathy and allograft dysfunction. Most cases are primary infections and are donor transmitted through the transplanted organ. Clinical and virological response to intravenous immunoglobulin (Ig) is usually excellent. We describe a case of donor‐transmitted parvovirus infection in a 23‐year‐old male who received his first cadaver renal transplant. The patient had an uncomplicated postoperative course with immediate graft function. Eight weeks after transplantation, he presented with fever, polyarthralgia, pancytopenia, and allograft dysfunction. Serological studies revealed elevated IgM titers against parvovirus B19. A renal biopsy was performed, which showed no evidence of acute rejection but with moderate degree of tubular damage. Parvovirus B19 viral DNA was detected in the renal tissue via polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The patient received a 10‐day course of intravenous Ig (400 mg/kg/day) with excellent response. His blood count normalized and the allograft improved to baseline function. The incidence of parvovirus infection in renal transplant patients is probably underestimated, because patients are not routinely screened for it and anemia and/or pancytopenia in these patients are often ascribed to immunosuppressive drugs. Because this infection is treatable, we conclude that parvovirus B19 infection should be actively considered in transplant patients presenting with pancytopenia and allograft dysfunction.
Transplant Infectious Disease – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 2002
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