Mycobacterium abscessus chest wall and pulmonary infection in a cystic fibrosis lung transplant recipient

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2006 Aug;25(8):985-8. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2006.04.003. Epub 2006 Jul 11.


Mycobacterial infections are increasingly recognized in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients before transplant; however, knowledge about the clinical significance or spectrum of infections observed with mycobacterial infections in lung transplant recipients is still evolving. Herein, we report a case of infection with Mycobacterium abscessus in a CF lung transplant recipient. Despite aggressive treatment before and peri-operatively with anti-mycobacterial therapy, the patient developed skin and soft tissue infection of the incision and of bilateral breast implants, eventually leading to disseminated pulmonary infection and death. This report highlights the potential for M abscessus to cause post-transplant disease in CF patients undergoing lung transplant, despite peri-operative anti-mycobacterial therapy. Thus, pre-transplant colonization with M abscessus should be viewed as a strong relative, if not absolute, contraindication to lung transplantation. The combination of the virulent pre-transplant pathogen M abscessus and foreign bodies in the chest likely acted synergistically to contribute to the unfortunate outcome in this patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abscess* / diagnosis
  • Abscess* / therapy
  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous* / diagnosis
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous* / therapy
  • Postoperative Complications* / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications* / therapy
  • Thoracic Wall*