Varying presentations of pulmonary nocardiosis in kidney transplant recipients - Case series

Academic Article


  • Infections continue to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality after solid organ transplantation. Early identification of the pathogenic organism is extremely important as the disease process might progress rapidly resulting in fatality. In this case series, we describe varying presentations of pulmonary nocardiosis, an uncommon opportunistic bacterial infection that often complicates the diagnosis of pneumonia, especially in immunocompromised patients. Although cough, fever, expectoration and breathlessness are the most common symptoms of pulmonary nocardiosis, they can also manifest as night sweats, weight loss and malaise. Some are incidentally diagnosed while being evaluated for other causes. Radiological features are also non-specific, usual findings being irregular nodules, cavitation, reticulo nodular diffuse pneumonia and pleural effusions. Bronchoalveolar lavage has the best diagnostic yield, but may have to be repeated several times to confirm a diagnosis, if the index of suspicion is high. Initial therapy with high dose trimethoprim- sulfamethoxazole is found to be effective in most of the cases. Duration of treatment should be a minimum of 6 months, and at least 12 months if central nervous system is affected. Other agents used for treatment include imipenem, minocycline, third generation cephalosporins, linezolid and amikacin. A high index of suspicion, with aggressive evaluation in an immunosuppressed individual will enable an early diagnosis, leading to prompt treatment and limit dissemination of disease thus preventing fatality.
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    Author List

  • Shabeen K; Sreedharan S; Polachirakkal Z; Shashindran N; Mathew A; Kumar V; Kurian G; Nair R
  • Start Page

  • 275
  • End Page

  • 278
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 3