Janet A. Englund, MD; Christopher J. Sullivan, MD; M. Colin Jordan, MD; Louis P. Dehner, MD; Gregory M. Vercellotti, MD; Henry H. Balfour Jr., MD
Respiratory syncytial virus disease was documented in 11 immunocompromised adults, aged 21 to 50. Underlying conditions included bone marrow transplant (6 patients), renal transplant (3 patients), renal and pancreas transplants (1 patient), and T-cell lymphoma (1 patient). Diagnosis of infection was based on specimens from bronchoalveolar lavage, sputum, throat, sinus aspirate, and lung biopsy. The virus was detected simultaneously by antibody in either an immunofluorescence or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 3 of 4 patients whose culture results were positive for respiratory syncytial virus. The virus was an unexpected finding, despite widespread infection in the community. Clinical symptoms included low-grade fever, nonproductive cough, rhinorrhea or nasal congestion, and radiographic evidence of interstitial infiltrates and sinusitis. Aerosolized ribavirin therapy was used in the 6 recipients of bone marrow transplants, 3 of whom required assisted ventilation but died. Death caused by virus infection was documented in 4 of 11 patients. Respiratory syncytial virus disease must be considered in the differential diagnosis of fever and pulmonary infiltrates in immunocompromised adults.
Englund JA, Sullivan CJ, Jordan MC, Dehner LP, Vercellotti GM, Balfour HH. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Immunocompromised Adults. Ann Intern Med. ;109:203–208. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-3-203
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(3):203-208.
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