Rabies encephalomyelitis: clinical, neuroradiological, and pathological findings in 4 transplant recipients.

TitleRabies encephalomyelitis: clinical, neuroradiological, and pathological findings in 4 transplant recipients.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBurton EC, Burns DK, Opatowsky MJ, El-Feky WH, Fischbach B, Melton L, Sanchez E, Randall H, Watkins DL, Chang J, Klintmalm G
Date PublishedJun
Accession Number15956158
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, AIM, IM, Diagnosis, Differential, Encephalitis, Viral / cf [Cerebrospinal Fluid], Encephalitis, Viral / di [Diagnosis], Encephalitis, Viral / pa [Pathology], Encephalitis, Viral / tm [Transmission], Fatal Outcome, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Organ Transplantation / ae [Adverse Effects], Rabies / cf [Cerebrospinal Fluid], Rabies / di [Diagnosis], Rabies / pa [Pathology], Rabies / tm [Transmission]

BACKGROUND: Three patients received solid organ transplants from a common donor and were subsequently discharged from the hospital following an uneventful hospital course. Within 30 days, all 3 organ recipients returned to the hospital with varying symptoms that progressed to rapid neurological deterioration, coma, and death. OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical, neuroradiological, and pathological findings of rabies virus infection in organ transplant recipients infected from a common donor. DESIGN: Case series involving a common donor and 3 organ recipients ascertained through review of clinical course and autopsy findings. A fourth case was determined by review of pending autopsy cases in which death occurred within the same time interval. Portions of postmortem central nervous system and organ tissues were frozen and formalin-fixed. Fluids and tissues were also collected for cultures, serology, and molecular studies. Postmortem fluids and tissues and antemortem fluids and tissues from all 4 transplant recipients and serum and banked lymphocyte or spleen cells from the donors were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further evaluation. SETTING: Transplant unit of an urban teaching hospital. RESULTS: Antemortem cerebrospinal fluid analysis for 3 of the 4 recipients was consistent with a viral etiology. Neuroimaging and electroencephalogram studies were suggestive of an infectious encephalitis or a toxic encephalopathy. Initial laboratory testing did not demonstrate an infectious etiology. Postmortem histologic analysis, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and direct fluorescence antibody testing revealed rabies virus infection. Serological testing done postmortem confirmed rabies virus infection in the common donor. CONCLUSIONS: These cases demonstrate a risk for transmitting rabies virus infection through solid organ and tissue transplantation, and this diagnosis should be considered in any rapidly progressing neurological disease.

Alternate JournalArch.Neurol.
Notify Library Reference ID1748

Related Incidents