Psychiatric disorders as risk factors for adverse medical outcomes after solid organ transplantation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation








medical outcomes; mortality; psychiatric disorders; solid organ transplantation


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Given that the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in transplant candidates and recipients is substantially higher than in the general population, and that linkages between psychiatric disorders and medical outcomes for nontransplant-related diseases have been established, it is important to determine whether psychiatric disorders predict posttransplant medical outcomes. RECENT FINDINGS: Most research has focused on the association between depression (both pretransplant and posttransplant) and posttransplant mortality. Some research has examined transplant-related morbidity outcomes, such as graft rejection, posttransplant malignancies, and infection. However, methodological limitations make it difficult to compare existing studies in this literature directly. Overall, the studies presented in this review indicate that psychiatric distress occurring in the early transplant aftermath bears a stronger relationship to morbidity and mortality outcomes than psychiatric distress occurring before transplant. SUMMARY: The literature on the impact of psychiatric conditions on the morbidity and mortality of solid organ transplant recipients remains inconclusive. More research is needed in order to investigate these associations among a broader range of psychiatric predictors, morbidity outcomes, and recipient populations. Until evidence suggests otherwise, we recommend frequent monitoring of psychiatric symptoms during the first year after transplantation to aid in early identification and treatment during this critical period of adjustment. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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