Arteriovenous fistula in a renal allograft with gross hematuria and subsequent acute kidney injury due to urinary tract obstruction: a case report

BMC Nephrol. 2023 Jun 5;24(1):156. doi: 10.1186/s12882-023-03183-5.


Background: Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) due to renal allograft biopsy is mechanical trauma resulting from the penetration of small arteries and veins by a core needle. Most AVFs are reported to resolve asymptomatically and spontaneously. This report presents a patient with acute kidney injury (AKI) due to urinary tract obstruction caused by a bleeding AVF in a renal allograft.

Case presentation: A 22-year-old Japanese woman who underwent living-donor kidney transplantation (KT) at 3 years due to end-stage renal disease caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) presented with a renal transplant AVF (gourd-shaped; 42 × 19 × 20 mm). The AVF was unexpectedly discovered by ultrasound before a surveillance biopsy at 10 years after KT. The patient had a history of recurrent FSGS, had undergone several renal allograft biopsies after KT, and did not experience symptoms or growth of the AVF for years. Nineteen years after KT, the patient developed AKI with sudden, asymptomatic, gross hematuria and anuria. Plain computed tomography revealed a hematoma in the pelvis of the renal allograft and bladder tamponade. The AVF was successfully treated by coil embolization. Hemodialysis was performed for AKI, and graft function was gradually recovered.

Conclusions: Unexpected bleeding from a renal transplant AVF may lead to transplant dysfunction. Angiographic embolization against the ruptured renal transplant AVF may prevent rebleeding and rescue the renal allograft.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Arteriovenous fistula; Kidney transplantation; Renal allograft biopsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / complications
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / therapy
  • Adult
  • Allografts
  • Arteriovenous Fistula* / complications
  • Arteriovenous Fistula* / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / pathology
  • Hematuria / complications
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Young Adult