Wound healing complications and the use of mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors in kidney transplantation: a critical review of the literature

Transplantation. 2012 Sep 27;94(6):547-61. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e3182551021.


Surgical complications, including events such as lymphocele and urological complications that affect wound healing, are reported with an incidence of 15% to 32% after kidney transplantation. The experience of the surgeon and comorbidities play an important role in determining the risk of such complications occurring. Since the introduction of the inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitors (mycophenolate mofetil) to the immunosuppressive armamentarium, replacing the antimetabolite prodrug azathioprine, reports have associated certain forms of wound healing complications (wound dehiscence, impaired healing, lymphocele, and incisional hernia) with the use of these agents. When mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors (sirolimus, everolimus) became available, these findings were observed increasingly, particularly in direct comparisons with inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitors. The purpose of this article was to review the reported incidence of wound healing complications from randomized clinical trials that investigated the use of sirolimus- and everolimus-based treatment regimens in de novo kidney transplantation and the information available from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database. The clinical trials included were primarily identified using biomedical literature database searches, with additional studies added at the authors' discretion. This review summarizes these studies to consider whether modern mTOR inhibitor-based immunosuppressive regimens exert and affect wound healing after kidney transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Everolimus
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / chemically induced*
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sirolimus / adverse effects
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Everolimus
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sirolimus