Peri- and Postsurgical Evaluations of Renal Transplant

Semin Nucl Med. 2017 Nov;47(6):647-659. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Jul 25.


Renal transplantation is the best treatment of choice for patient with chronic renal insufficiency because it provides better quality of life and longer survival. Survival rates for grafts and patients have improved over the recent decades because of significant evolution of surgical techniques and immunosuppressive treatment. However, renal transplantation is still associated with several complications, which may result in poor outcome. Cause of allograft dysfunction, which occurs in the early or late post-transplantation period, should be recognized immediately, so that it can be managed correctly. Surgical complications are rare and include renal artery stenosis, vascular thrombosis, hematoma, ureteral obstruction, urinary leak, hematoma, lymphocele, and perinephric fluid collections. Parenchymal complications, which are histopathologically categorized according to Banff classification, include antibody-mediated rejection, T-cell mediated rejection, interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy, calcineurin inhibitors, acute tubular injury, and others. Detection of changes in the allograft function is an important task in the appropriate management of complications. Although first-line imaging tool in the recognition of complications is ultrasonography, radionuclide imaging is a modality capable of assessing graft function qualitatively and quantitatively. Sequential renal scintigraphy is of particular importance in the differential diagnosis of complications, which need prompt and accurate management. Renal scintigraphy within 24-48 hours of transplantation surgery is recommended to serve as a baseline for comparison when functional impairment develops. In addition, studies have shown that early renal scintigraphy has a predictive value for the short-term and long-term graft outcomes. This article focuses in the main complications after renal transplantation, their imaging findings, and the role of renal scintigraphy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies
  • Graft Rejection
  • Humans
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radionuclide Imaging


  • Antibodies