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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Fatal Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Due to Influenza A (H1N1) Infection in Patients After Kidney Transplantation: A Report of Five Cases

Paweł Zatorski, Agata Adamczyk, Maciej Kosieradzki, Teresa Baczkowska, Dariusz Kosson, Janusz Trzebicki

Department of Teaching Anesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Ann Transplant 2018; 23:218-223

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.907083

Available online: 2018-03-30

Published: 2018-03-30

BACKGROUND: In the general population, swine influenza is a self-limited infection. Patients after kidney transplantation, however, are at increased risk for complications and mortality from influenza A (H1N1). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) complicates up to 55% of influenza-related pneumonia in hospitalized patients and carries a mortality of 40–46%. We describe our experience in intensive care of kidney transplant patients with ARDS complicating influenza A (H1N1) pneumonia during a flu outbreak.
Five adult post kidney transplantation patients with progressive respiratory failure admitted to the ICU between February 2016 and April 2016 were included in this retrospectively analysis.
All patients had influenza A (H1N1) viral pneumonia (confirmed with RT-PCR) complicated by ARDS and septic shock with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. None of the patients received seasonal influenza vaccines. All patients had negative rapid influenza bedside tests, which resulted in delay of administration of antiviral therapy prior to admission to the ICU. All patients were managed with a lung protective ventilation strategy (average days of mechanical ventilation, 17.6±15.3). Three patients required additional therapies for refractory hypoxemia, including high positive end-expiratory pressure and prone positioning. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was not implemented. Treatment with oseltamivir was added to a broad-spectrum antibiotic on the first to the fifth day of intensive care. Despite these measures, all patients eventually died.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite great progress in the management of ARDS, based mostly on advanced mechanical ventilation, early antiviral treatment of pneumonia caused by influenza A (H1N1) and annual vaccinations seem essential in prevention and management of influenza A (H1N1) infection among kidney transplant recipients.

Keywords: Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype, Kidney Transplantation, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult, Sepsis, Vaccination