Severe Late-Onset Acute Cellular Rejection in a Pediatric Patient With Isolated Small Intestinal Transplant Rescued With Aggressive Immunosuppressive Approach: A Case Report

Amrita Narang, Dong Xi, Tania Mitsinikos, Yuri Genyk, Dan Thomas, Rohit Kohli, Chuan Hao Lin, Nisreen Soufi, Mikako Warren, Russell Merritt, George Yanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Small intestinal transplantation is performed for patients with intestinal failure who failed other surgical and medical treatment. It carries notable risks, including, but not limited to, acute and chronic cellular rejection and graft malfunction. Late severe acute intestinal allograft rejection is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality and, in the majority of cases, ends with total enterectomy. It usually results from subtherapeutic immunosuppression or nonadherence to medical treatment. We present the case of a 20-year-old patient who underwent isolated small bowel transplant for total intestinal Hirschsprung disease at age 7. Due to medication nonadherence, she developed severe late-onset acute cellular rejection manifested by high, bloody ostomy output and weight loss. Ileoscopy showed complete loss of normal intestinal anatomic landmarks and ulcerated mucosa. Graft biopsies showed ulceration and granulation tissue with severe architectural distortion consistent with severe intestinal graft rejection. She initially received intravenous corticosteroids and increased tacrolimus dose without significant improvement. Her immunosuppression was escalated to include infliximab and finally antithymocyte globulin. Graft enterectomy was considered repeatedly; however, clinical improvement was noted eventually with evidence of histologic improvement and salvage of the graft. The aggressive antirejection treatment was complicated by development of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder that resolved with reducing immunosuppression. Her graft function is currently maintained on tacrolimus, oral prednisone, and a periodic infliximab infusion. We conclude that a prompt and aggressive immunosuppressive approach significantly increases the chance of rescuing small bowel transplant rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3181-3185
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Volume51
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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