The risk factors and laboratory diagnostics for post renal transplant tuberculosis: a case-control, country-wide study on definitive cases


A. Basiri, MD, Urology/Nephrology Research Center, No 44, Boustan 9th, Pasdaran Ave., Tehran, Iran 1666679951.
Tel: +98 21 2256 7222
Fax: +98 21 2256 7282


Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in renal transplant recipients and, because of its infrequency and the lack of medical awareness, it is usually misdiagnosed. This study was carried out to determine frequency and weight of multiple risk factors for post kidney transplantation TB.

Methods. A total of 44 cases (0.3%), out of 12,820 patients from 12 major kidney transplantation centers in Iran from 1984 to 2003, were compared with 184 healthy transplant subjects who were transplanted by the same surgical team.

Results. The mean age of cases and controls was 37.7 (13–63) and 35.6 (8–67) years (P=0.3), respectively. The mean duration of pre-transplantation hemodialysis was 30.3 (3–168) months in cases and 18.2 (1–180) months in controls (P=0.03). A positive past history of TB was detected in 2 cases and 1 control (P=0.3). The mean doses of initial and maintenance immunosuppressive drugs in cases and controls were not significantly different. A total of 25 cases (56.8%) and 60 controls (32.6%) had rejection before diagnosis of TB (P=0.004; OR=2.7, CI95%: 1.3–5.6).

Conclusions. To our knowledge, this is the first study that demonstrated an increase in the risk of post-transplant TB by increasing the duration of pre-transplant hemodialysis and the number of post-transplant rejection episodes as 2 immunocompromised states. Further study is needed to clarify our new findings, specifically in relation to different immunosuppressive regimens.