Influenza pneumonia in lung transplant recipients: clinical features and association with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome

Chest. 2001 Apr;119(4):1277-80. doi: 10.1378/chest.119.4.1277.


Influenza infection is increasingly recognized to cause significant morbidity and mortality in the community, especially in pediatric patients and elderly persons. Influenza infection, however, has not been well described among thoracic organ transplant recipients. We provide the first detailed clinical, radiographic, and histologic description of influenza pneumonia among three lung transplant recipients. The presentation varied considerably among the three patients and, in some cases, was atypical for influenza. Despite treatment, a persistent decline in pulmonary function occurred in all three patients after the acute illness. Interestingly, on follow-up biopsy specimens, each patient had histologic evidence of acute rejection and/or obliterative bronchiolitis. Additional research, therefore, is needed to clarify the relationship between influenza infection, acute rejection, and obliterative bronchiolitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / complications
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / complications
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / complications
  • Influenza, Human / diagnosis*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Radiography