Transfer of peanut allergy following lung transplantation: a case report

Transplant Proc. 2011 Dec;43(10):4032-5. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2011.08.088.


This case study describes a patient who developed peanut allergy following lung transplantation. A 54-year-old woman underwent bilateral lung transplantation on June 2009 owing to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She had no history of food allergy before transplantation. The donor, however, was a 20-year-old man who was fatally injured during an automobile accident; he was allergic to peanuts. At 3 months after transplantation, the lung recipient presented with acute dyspnea and urticaria 15 minutes after consuming food containing peanut derivatives. Pre- and posttransplantation recipient blood samples analyzed for the presence of IgE antibodies specific for peanut allergens confirmed that the allergy had been passively transfered as a consequence of transplantation. Food allergy following solid organ transplantation is thought to be rare, mostly occurring in children. Two mechanisms may explain the observations described for the patient reported in this study: de novo development of peanut allergies after transplantation, or passive transfer of peanut allergies from a peanut-sensitized organ donor. This case report documenting pre- and posttransplantation IgE status in a lung transplantation case suggested that the allergic status of organ donors should be thoroughly assessed before transplantation, and potential allergy transfer risks must be discussed with the transplant team and the patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Intradermal Tests
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / surgery*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Immunoglobulin E