Esophageal Candidiasis after Renal Transplantation: Comparative Study in Patients on Different Immunosuppressive Protocols

Krishan L. Gupta, Amit K. Ghosh, Rakesh Kochhar, Vivekanand Jha, Arunaloke Chakrabarti, Vinay Sakhuja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives: The incidence of esophageal candidiasis (EC) in renal allograft recipients has not been well documented. The present study was done to determine the incidence of EC in renal allograft recipients receiving different forms of immunosuppressive therapy and to identify patients at a high risk of developing Candida esophagitis. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 265 live related renal allograft recipients and compared three groups: patients given azathioprine and prednisolone (group I), those given cyclosporine, azathioprine, and prednisolone (group II), and those given cyclosporine and prednisolone (group III). EC was diagnosed by esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Results: The overall incidence of EC was 10.5%. Group II patients had a significantly higher incidence (28.6%) than those in group I (10.4%) and group III (3.8%). EC was noted earlier in patients in groups II and III, who were on higher doses of steroids than group I patients. Dysphagia (57.1%) was the most common presenting symptom of EC, but 21.4% of patients were asymptomatic. Oral thrush was present in 42.9%. The entire esophageal mucosa was affected in six (46.1%) patients in group II and one (20%) in group III. No correlation was found between fungal serology or daily dose of steroids and extent of esophageal involvement. Treatment included nystatin in seven, nystatin and ketoconazole in 10, ketoconazole alone in eight, amphotericin B in one, and ketoconazole and amphotericin B in two episodes. Treatment failure occurred in seven (25%). Three patients died of disseminated candidiasis. Serology and biopsy were poor predictors of dissemination. Conclusions: In this retrospective study of renal allograft recipients, patients on triple drug immunosuppression, diabetics, and those with myelosuppression had an increased risk of developing EC. This high incidence calls for prophylactic use of antifungal agents in selected renal transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1065
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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