• pyelonephritis;
  • renal transplantation;
  • vesicoureteric reflux

Abstract:  We retrospectively studied the occurrence of vesicoureteral reflux (VUR)-associated pyelonephritis using renal biopsies obtained from the transplanted kidneys, and correlated the histological changes with clinical parameters. Out of a total of 131 renal biopsies performed between 1990 and 2001 on renal transplant patients at the department of Urology of Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 12 patients showed pyuria more than twice in a single year. Seven of these 12 patients were available for determining VUR by voiding cystourethrography (VCUG). Cystoureterography demonstrated VUR in three of seven studied patients with pyuria. A histopathological examination revealed dilatation of both proximal and distal tubules in renal biopsies of transplant patients with VUR, compared to renal biopsies of transplant patients without VUR, or non-transplanted patients with thin membrane disease. One of the patients with VUR showed advanced features of chronic pyelonephritis in four consecutive biopsies at different time points, suggesting a late stage of reflux nephropathy in the transplanted kidney. We conclude from our study that the occurrence of VUR-related pyelonephritis may be one of the important long-term complications in the survival of renal allografts.