Strongyloides hyperinfection syndrome after heart transplantation: case report and review of the literature

Michael W Schaeffer, Joseph F Buell, Manish Gupta, Ginger D Conway, Shahab A Akhter, Lynne E Wagoner
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2004, 23 (7): 905-11
Stronglyoides hyperinfection syndrome (SHS) is an augmentation of the infective life cycle of S stercoralis. Immunosuppressed patients, especially those taking corticosteroid therapy, are at risk. We present a case of fatal SHS with disseminated infection following orthotopic heart transplantation. The patient was treated with increased doses of immunosuppressive medications for graft rejection, including corticosteroids. A review of the literature describing the pathophysiology, host defenses and treatment of SHS is also presented. Diagnostic tests for S stercoralis are reviewed. SHS should be part of the differential diagnosis in immunosuppressed patients presenting with sepsis or gastrointestinal or pulmonary complaints. Pretransplant evaluation for parasitic infections, including strongyloidiasis, should occur in endemic areas or in patients at risk for occult infestation.

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