Colo. – Children who receive solid organ transplants are
hospitalized due to vaccine-preventable infections at rates that are
significantly higher than the general population, according to a newly
published study by University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers.
published today in JAMA Pediatrics, reviewed nearly 7,000 transplant recipients
nationally over a seven-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2004, to determine how
often they are hospitalized with infections that are typically prevented with
the 6,980 transplant recipients in the study, 1,092 patients, or 15.6 percent,
were hospitalized with a total of 1,490 cases of vaccine-preventable infections
within five years after transplant surgery. At that rate, hospitalization among
the transplant population was up to 87 times higher than in the general
huge burden of illness from vaccine-preventable infections that we show in this
article should stress to all physicians the critical importance of ensuring
that all transplant patients receive age-appropriate immunizations,” said the
study’s lead author, Amy Feldman, MD, MSCS, assistant professor of pediatrics
for the CU School of Medicine and program director for the liver transplant
fellowship at Children’s Hospital Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
other studies have looked at morbidity from certain types of infections, this
study is the first to explore the burden of illness from all
vaccine-preventable infections across the entire pediatric solid organ
transplant population. The analysis included all patients younger than 18 years
old who underwent a heart, lung, liver, kidney, intestine, or multivisceral
transplant at any of the 45 U.S. not-for-profit tertiary care pediatric
hospitals that report data to the Pediatric Health Information System of the
Children’s Hospital Association.
on the findings, Feldman and her co-authors recommend further study to identify
ways to improve the likelihood of vaccination among children who need
transplant surgery. The goal is to reduce the costs of hospitalization and the
rates of sickness and death due to infections that could be prevented by
has received funding for her research from an award from the Children’s
Hospital Colorado Research Institute and from a grant by the National
Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
co-authors are Brenda L. Beaty, MSPH, Donna Curtis, MD, MPH, Elizabeth
Juarez-Colunga, PhD, and Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, all from the University of
Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.