A 68-year-old woman developed a severe peanut allergy after receiving a lung transplant from a donor who suffered from the allergy, according to a report in the journal Transplantation Proceedings.
It’s a very rare occurrence for lung transplant recipients to acquire a food allergy from a donor organ, said lead case report author Dr. Mazen Odish, a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California – San Diego Medical Center, who treated the woman
The woman in the case had needed a single-lung transplant to treat her emphysema, a condition in which the air sacs in the lungs become damaged, making it difficult to breathe. She received a new left lung from a 22-year-old male donor, Odish said.
The woman’s recovery was going well after the transplant, but the day before she was scheduled to go home from the hospital, she felt tightness in her chest and found it very difficult to breathe, according to the report. Initially, her doctors weren’t sure why she was experiencing these symptoms of respiratory failure, and tests done at the time didn’t turn up any clear explanation for it.