Squamous and basal cell carcinoma in heart transplant recipients

T D Lampros, A Cobanoglu, F Parker, R Ratkovec, D J Norman, R Hershberger
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 1998, 17 (6): 586-91

BACKGROUND: Cutaneous malignancies are frequent in organ transplant recipients. We retrospectively reviewed a large series of heart transplant recipients and report on the prevalence and risk factors for development of cutaneous squamous and basal cell carcinoma.

METHODS: Between Dec. 4, 1985, and Dec. 27, 1996, 299 heart transplantations were performed at the Oregon Health Sciences University. Heart transplant recipients with more than 6 months survival or follow-up were investigated for squamous and basal cell carcinoma (n = 248).

RESULTS: Forty-one patients (17%) were found to have 192 squamous or basal cell carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinoma was the predominate skin malignancy, constituting 172 (90%) of the lesions. The mean number of skin malignancies per patient was 4.7 +/- 0.81 (range 125). Patients with development of a skin malignancy were 8 years older on average, with a male-to-female ratio of 19.5:1. The predominant skin type and eye color were fair (59%) and blue (59%), respectively. Cumulative risk, based on actuarial survival analysis for development of a squamous or basal cell carcinoma at 1 year, was 3% and increased to 21% and 35% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. In addition, cumulative risk increased in patients who received treatment with OKT3.

CONCLUSION: Cumulative risk of development of a skin malignancy increased with time and use of OKT3. Additional patient risk factors included older age, male sex, fair skin, and blue eyes.

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