Hong Kong Med J 2013;19:27–32 | Number 1, February 2013
Clinicopathological study of renal biopsies after liver transplantation
Gavin SW Chan, MF Lam, Lorraine Kwan, SH Fung, SC Chan, KW Chan
Department of Pathology, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To perform a clinicopathological study of patients having renal biopsies after liver transplantation.
DESIGN. Case series.
SETTING. Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. All post–liver transplantation patients who had a renal biopsy in the period from January 2000 to December 2010.
RESULTS. Eleven renal biopsies were retrieved for review from 10 patients with liver transplantation. The male-to-female ratio was 9:1 (age range, 47-63 years). The median liver transplant–to–renal biopsy interval was 1590 (range, 102-3699) days. The predominant histological changes were interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy. Diabetic nephropathy (n=6) and immunoglobulin A nephropathy (n=4) were the commonest glomerulopathies. Only one patient had chronic calcineurin inhibitor nephrotoxicity. With a mean follow-up of 53 months, three patients died 2 to 53 months post–renal biopsy. All surviving patients had chronic renal impairment. Five patients developed end-stage renal failure and four had significant persistent proteinuria.
CONCLUSION. Renal pathology was variable after liver transplantation; most biopsies showed complex renal lesions, whilst calcineurin inhibitor nephrotoxicity was rare. The recognition of kidney histology attributable to metabolic derangements after liver transplantation is potentially important in the interpretation of renal biopsy specimens and patient management. The renal outlook of this group of patients is guarded.
Key words:Liver transplantation
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