Renal transplant complications: diagnostic and therapeutic role of radiology

Can Assoc Radiol J. 2014 Aug;65(3):242-52. doi: 10.1016/j.carj.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Dec 8.


Kidney was the first and is the most frequently transplanted organ. Despite improved surgical techniques and transplantation technology, complications do occur and, if left untreated, may lead to catastrophic consequences. Renal transplantation complications may be vascular (eg, renal artery and vein stenosis and thrombosis, arteriovenous fistula, and pseudoaneurysms); urologic (eg, urinary obstruction and leak, and peritransplantation fluid collections, including hematoma, seroma, lymphocele, and abscess formation); and nephrogenic, including acute tubular necrosis, graft rejection, chronic allograft nephropathy, and neoplasm. Early diagnosis and treatment of these complications are paramount to prevent graft failure and other significant morbidities to the patients. Radiology plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and treatment of these complications, with minimally invasive percutaneous techniques. In this article, we reviewed renal transplantation anatomy, a wide range of complications that may occur after renal transplantation surgery, typical imaging appearances of the complications on varies imaging modalities, and percutaneous interventional techniques that are used in their treatment.

Keywords: Complication; Diagnostic radiology; Interventional radiology; Kidney transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Radiography, Interventional*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*


  • Contrast Media