Neurological complications of organ transplantation

Ann Neurol. 1994 Nov;36(5):688-703. doi: 10.1002/ana.410360503.


Over the last thirty years, organ transplantation has become a practical treatment option for many otherwise fatal diseases. New immunosuppressive agents, advances in tissue matching, and improvements in surgical technique have increased both the number and type of transplants performed. Kidney, bone marrow, heart, lung, liver, and pancreas transplants are now used regularly in the treatment of end-stage disease. However, these advances have come at a price. Transplant recipients are subject to numerous complications, many of which involve the nervous system. Depending on the type of organ transplanted, 30 to 60% of transplant recipients experience neurological problems. Most neurological complications, especially those related to immunosuppression, are common to all transplant types; other complications are associated predominantly with specific transplant types. This report reviews the general categories of neurological complications as well as the specific problems associated with each kind of transplant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents