Cytomegalovirus infection presenting as bronchial polyps in lung transplant recipients.
BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most important opportunistic pathogen in lung transplant recipients and is associated with direct and indirect morbidity. Infection or disease with CMV is often diagnosed through detection of the virus in the blood, culture of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, or histologic examination of lung tissue obtained on transbronchial biopsy. Endobronchial lesions involving the virus have received little attention, however. METHODS: We reviewed the records of 76 endobronchial biopsies obtained at our institution from January 1999 through October 2004 and performed a detailed examination of the specimens and clinical histories for all patients with biopsy evidence of bronchial CMV infection. RESULTS: We identified three patients with endobronchial CMV infection, manifested in each case as an endobronchial polyp. On histologic examination of the endobronchial biopsy specimens, cells with cytopathic effects characteristic or suggestive of CMV infection were present in two cases, and immunohistochemical staining confirmed the presence of CMV in all three. All patients were clinically well with normal chest X-rays before biopsy. Two of three patients had multiple subsequent episodes of CMV disease. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report of endobronchial polypoid CMV disease in lung transplant recipients. Our results suggest that biopsy of endobronchial lesions in pulmonary allografts should be pursued to establish a definitive etiology.
Naber, JM; Palmer, SM; Howell, DN
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