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Case Reports in Cardiology
Volume 2012, Article ID 723407, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/723407
Case Report

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Pneumonia Treated with Lower-Dose Palivizumab in a Heart Transplant Recipient

1Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA
2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA
3Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA

Received 3 October 2011; Accepted 20 October 2011

Academic Editors: K.-R. Chiou and T. Kasai

Copyright © 2012 J. L. Grodin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important community-acquired pathogen that can cause significant morbidity and mortality in patients who have compromised pulmonary function, are elderly, or are immunosuppressed. This paper describes a 70-year-old man with a remote history of heart transplantation who presented with signs and symptoms of pneumonia. Chest computed tomography (CT) imaging demonstrated new patchy ground glass infiltrates throughout the upper and lower lobes of the left lung, and the RSV direct fluorescence antibody (DFA) was positive. The patient received aerosolized ribavirin, one dose of intravenous immunoglobulin, and one dose of palivizumab. After two months of followup, the patient had improved infiltrates on chest CT, improved pulmonary function testing, and no evidence of graft rejection or dysfunction. There are few data on RSV infections in heart transplant patients, but this case highlights the importance of considering this potentially serious infection and introduces a novel method of treatment.