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Invasive aspergillosis in liver transplant recipients.

BACKGROUND: Liver transplantation is increasing worldwide with underlying pathologies dominated by metabolic and alcoholic diseases in developed countries.

METHODS: We provide a narrative review of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in liver transplant (LT) recipients. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for references without language and time restrictions.

RESULTS: The incidence of IA in LT recipients is low (1.8%), while mortality is high (∼50%). It occurs mainly early (<3 months) after LT. Some risk factors have been identified before (corticosteroid, renal, and liver failure), during (massive transfusion and duration of surgical procedure), and after transplantation (intensive care unit stay, re-transplantation, re-operation). Diagnosis can be difficult and therefore requires full radiological and clinicobiological collaboration. Accurate identification of Aspergillus species is recommended due to the cryptic species, and susceptibility testing is crucial given the increasing resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to azoles. It is recommended to reduce the dose of tacrolimus (50%) and to closely monitor the trough level when introducing voriconazole, isavuconazole, and posaconazole. Surgery should be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Antifungal prophylaxis is recommended in high-risk patients. Environmental preventative measures should be implemented to prevent outbreaks of nosocomial aspergillosis in LT recipient units.

CONCLUSION: IA remains a very serious disease in LT patients and should be promptly sought and, if possible, prevented by clinicians when risk factors are identified.

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