A 61-year-old woman received a cadaveric renal transplant in 1972 and was maintained on chronic immunosuppression. Nonspecific granulomatous synovitis of the left hand developed in 1982. After recurrence of synovitis in 1984, surgical exploration of the left hand demonstrated "rice bodies" in a region of chronic synovitis from which Mycobacterium kansasii was isolated. Despite therapy with isoniazid, rifampin, and ethambutol, to which the organism was susceptible in vitro, synovitis recurred. Recovery was completed after extensive synovectomies, decreased immunosuppression, and 24-months of therapy, with the drugs listed above; there was no evidence of mycobacterial infection at sites other than the left hand at any time. The occurrence of persistent Mycobacterium kansasii infection is distinctly unusual even in transplant recipients. In patients refractory to conventional antituberculous therapy, surgical management should be considered as an important therapeutic component.