Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in the treatment of BK viremia and nephropathy in pediatric renal transplant recipients

Authors


Samhar I. Al-Akash, Kidney Center, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda, Corpus Christi, TX 78411, USA
Tel.: +1 361 694 6852
Fax: +1 361 694 6859
E-mail: samhar.al-akash@dchstx.org

Abstract

Anyaegbu EI, Almond PS, Milligan T, Allen WR, Gharaybeh S, Al-Akash SI. Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in the treatment of BK viremia and nephropathy in pediatric renal transplant recipients.
Pediatr Transplantation 2012: 16: E19–E24. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  Polyoma BKVN is a significant cause of allograft dysfunction and loss in renal transplant recipients. Reduction in immunosuppression is accepted as first-line therapy to decrease viral load and prevent allograft injury and dysfunction. We report our experience with persistent BKV after reduction in immunosuppression followed by successful clearance of BKV in three pediatric renal transplant recipients and histological resolution of BKVN in a fourth patient following therapy with IVIG. Once BKV was detected, immunosuppression was reduced and BKV was monitored until clearance was achieved. All four patients were given IVIG in a dose of 2 g/kg. Allograft function remained stable in all patients. Early routine screening for BKV allows early intervention to prevent the development of BKVN and permanent allograft damage. While immunosuppression reduction is a logical first-line therapy, second-line therapy is not well established. IVIG seems to be an effective treatment for persistent BKV after reduction in immunosuppression and for BKVN and can therefore be considered as a therapeutic option in these patients.

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