Background. Although some studies have examined the epidemiology of bloodstream infections after liver transplantation, they were based in single centers and did not identify bloodstream infections treated in other hospitals. Methods. We retrospectively examined a cohort of 7912 adult liver transplant recipients from 24 transplant centers using 2004 to 2012 International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification billing data from 3 State Inpatient Databases, and identified bloodstream infections, inpatient death, and cumulative 1-year hospital costs. Multilevel Cox regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with bloodstream infections and death. Results. Bloodstream infections were identified in 29% (n = 2326) of liver transplant recipients, with a range of 19% to 40% across transplant centers. Only 63% of bloodstream infections occurring more than 100 days posttransplant were identified at the original transplant center. Bloodstream infections were associated with posttransplant laparotomy (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.52), prior liver transplant (aHR, 1.42), increasing age (aHR, 1.07/ decade), and some comorbidities. Death was associated with bloodstream infections with and without septic shock (aHR, 10.96 and 3.71, respectively), transplant failure or rejection (aHR, 1.41), posttransplant laparotomy (aHR, 1.40), prior solid-organ transplant (aHR, 1.48), increasing age (aHR, 1.15/decade), and hepatitis C cirrhosis (aHR, 1.20). The risk of bloodstream infections and death varied across transplant centers. Median 1-year cumulative hospital costs were higher for patients who developed bloodstream infections within 1 year of transplant compared with patients who were bloodstream infection-free (US $229 806 vs US $111 313; P < 0.001). Conclusions. Bloodstream infections are common and costly complications after liver transplantation that are associated with a markedly increased risk of death. The incidence and risk of developing bloodstream infections may vary across transplant centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E67
JournalTransplantation Direct
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


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