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End-stage renal disease in liver transplants


Melissa Lynn MD, Department of Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71106, USA


Renal dysfunction is one of the most significant problems following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLTx). Since the major risk factor for delayed renal dysfunction following OLTx is presumed to be cyclosporine (CsA) nephrotoxicity, it has been suggested that CsA is the most probably cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in this population of patients. To test this hypothesis the records of OLTx patients in our center who developed ESRD requiring dialysis were reviewed. There were 132 consecutive adult patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) who received 146 OLTxs between 1990 and 2000. Five patients (3.4%) developed ESRD requiring dialysis. Four of the five patients developed nephrotic range proteinuria prior to reaching ESRD. Renal biopsy in four patients showed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, diabetic nephropathy, membranous nephropathy and cyclosporine toxicity. The underlying hepatic and metabolic disease may have played a role in the genesis of glomerular diseases in these OLTx patients. Perhaps if more renal biopsies are performed in OLTx patients with chronic renal failure, we might discover that, although CsA/tacrolimus therapy is a definite risk factor for post-transplantation chronic renal failure, other disease processes may also play a significant role.

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