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Why is mother having respiratory problems after a kidney transplant?

Q: My mother recently underwent a kidney transplant and now she is running temperature and has some respiratory problems. We went for a CT scan which shows some consolidation in the lower lobe of the left lung and is suspected to be tuberculosis. We have already spent a lot. Now there is a fear inside me as to what will happen if it is tuberculosis? Is it life threatening? In order to get relief from haemodialysis, we opted for the transplant. But she is getting worse after the transplant. Why is this happening? What is the solution for this? The doctor says that the infection will subside within a week or 10 days then my mother mom will be normal. Please advise.

A:I am sorry to learn that your mother has developed tuberculosis, which occurs 10 to 15 times higher in patients with kidney transplants. Most patients will respond to treatment and this condition should not be life-threatening if diagnosed early as appears to be in your mothers case. Mostly, its re-activation of the inactive tuberculosis which most Indians have by 15-20 years of age. The treatment has to be continued for 18 months as Rifampicin is usually not used because of its interaction with cyclosporin (immuno-suppressant used in transplant patients). Your mother should start to feel better in 2-3 weeks time.

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