Background: Little information regarding bloodstream infections (BSIs) in small bowel transplantation has been published.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 98 pediatric patients who underwent small bowel transplantation. Patients’ characteristics were analyzed with Wilcoxon rank-sum, χ2 or Fisher’s exact tests. We estimated the overall survival by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared survival distributions between groups with the log-rank test.
Results: Sixty-eight patients developed ≥1episode of BSIs (total of 146 episodes), and 69.1% of the first infections were diagnosed in the 3 months post-transplantation. The most common sources of infection were as follows: central venous catheters (49.3%) and intra-abdominal infections (32.9%). Central venous catheters were present in 86.3%, and total parenteral nutrition within 7 days before infection was administered in 72.6% of episodes. Gram-positive bacteria (96 isolates) were more frequently isolated than Gram-negative bacteria (52 isolates), with Enterococcus spp. being the most commonly identified (48 isolates), followed by coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (40 isolates). Patients with infections were younger than those without (median 1.4 versus 2.1 years, P = 0.02). Four grafts were lost after transplantation in patients with BSIs and 2 in patients without BSIs (P = 0.99). One-year survival rate for patients without BSIs was 86.7% (95% confidence interval: 68.3%–94.8%) versus 72.1% in patients with BSIs (95% confidence interval: 59.8%–81.2%). Overall time to death was shorter in patients with BSIs than in patients without BSIs (P = 0.056).
Conclusions: Almost 70% of small bowel transplantation recipients developed BSIs, mainly in the early months after transplantation. BSIs were mainly from a central venous catheter or intra-abdominal source. Enterococcus spp were the most frequently isolated organisms. Patients with BSIs had worse survival than patients with BSIs.