Neuroimaging and neurologic complications after organ transplantation

J Neuroimaging. 2007 Apr;17(2):110-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6569.2007.00097.x.


Neurologic complications are common after transplantation and affect 30-60% of transplant recipients. The etiology of most of the posttransplant neurologic disorders is related to the opportunistic infections, both systemic and involving central nervous system (CNS), toxicity of immunosuppressive medications, and the metabolic insult created by the underlying primary disease and the transplant procedure. Neuroimaging studies are one of the key tools in the evaluation and enable early diagnosis of neurologic complications in transplant patients, especially posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome, central pontine myelinolysis, intracerebral hemorrhage, and fungal and bacterial abscesses. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the preferred technique, but each of the available neuroimaging techniques offers a unique insight into the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying neurologic complications of transplantation. The role of neuroimaging in this population includes early detection of calcineurin inhibitor neurotoxicity, opportunistic infections, neoplasia, metabolic disorders, or cerebrovascular diseases. In addition, we can monitor longitudinal progression of disease and treatment response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis*
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents