BKV in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant recipients: a leading cause of renal graft loss in first 2 years post-transplant

Am J Transplant. 2005 Feb;5(2):366-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00685.x.


With the introduction of more potent immunosuppressive agents, rejection has decreased in simultaneous pancreas/kidney transplant (SPK) recipients. However, as a consequence, opportunistic infections have increased. The purpose of this report is to outline the course of SPK patients who developed polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PVAN). A retrospective review of 146 consecutive SPK recipients from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2002 was performed. Immunosuppression, rejection and development of PVAN were reviewed. Nine patients were identified. All received induction with either OKT3 or thymoglobulin. Immunosuppression included tacrolimus/cyclosporine, MMF/azathioprine and sirolimus/prednisone. Two patients were treated for kidney rejection prior to the diagnosis of PVAN. Time to diagnosis was an average of 359.3 days post-transplantation. Immunosuppression was decreased but five ultimately lost function. However, none developed pancreatic abnormalities as demonstrated by normal glucose and amylase. Two underwent renal retransplantation after PVAN diagnosis and both have normal kidney function. PVAN was the leading cause of renal loss in SPK patients in the first 2 years after transplantation and is a serious concern for SPK recipients. The pancreas, however, is spared from evidence of infection, and no pancreatic rejection occurred when immunosuppression was decreased.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • BK Virus / physiology
  • Female
  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression
  • Kidney / virology
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Kidney Diseases / virology
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Pancreas Transplantation*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Virus Infections / physiopathology*