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BACKGROUND: In this study, we reviewed our experience with severe diverticulitis in patients who have undergone heart and/or lung transplantation to assess whether transplant recipients are at increased risk of having severe diverticulitis compared with the general population. METHODS: We reviewed the records of patients who underwent heart and/or lung transplantation from 1984 to 2000, inclusive, and identified patients with severe diverticulitis that required surgery or that resulted in death. We compared this incidence with the incidence of such complications in the general population, served by the same institution during a 2-year period, 1999 to 2000. RESULTS: A total of 953 patients underwent transplantation in the study period. The mean follow-up was 57 months, a total follow-up of 4528 patient-years. Nine patients (mean age, 54 years) had severe diverticulitis that required surgical intervention (8 patients) or that resulted in death (1 patient died without surgical intervention). During 1999 to 2000, 16 patients (mean age, 66 years) from the general population were treated for severe diverticulitis that required surgical intervention, 3 of whom died. From census and area health data, we found that the study institution serves approximately 90000 people older than 40 years, with a total follow-up of 180000 patient-years. The incidence rate ratio for severe diverticulitis when comparing the transplant with the non-transplant groups was 22.2 (95% confidence interval; 9.9-50.0; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with severe diverticulitis who have undergone heart and/or lung transplantation can be treated surgically with a small mortality rate. Transplant recipients probably are at substantially increased risk of experiencing severe diverticulitis.

Original publication




Journal article


J Heart Lung Transplant

Publication Date





845 - 849


Diverticulitis, Colonic, Female, Heart Transplantation, Heart-Lung Transplantation, Humans, Immunosuppression, Incidence, Lung Transplantation, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors