Objectives To determine the prevalence and describe the management of hypertension and central nervous system (CNS) complications after renal transplantation in cats. We also compared the prevalence of CNS complications between cats monitored and treated for postoperative hypertension and a previously described, historical control group of cats not monitored or treated for postoperative hypertension.

Study Design Retrospective clinical study.

Animals or Sample Population A total of 34 client-owned cats that received renal allografts for the treatment of end-stage renal failure.

Methods Medical records were reviewed. Data obtained included preoperative and postoperative systolic blood pressures, antihypertensive therapy, response to treatment, neurologic signs, and clinical outcome. The results were compared with a historical control group of feline renal allograft recipients that were neither monitored nor treated for postoperative hypertension.

Results Severe postoperative hypertension occurred in 21 of 34 of cats. Hypertension was treated in all 21 cats with subcutaneously administered hydralazine which reduced systolic blood pressure to less than 170 mm Hg in 15 minutes in 20 of 21 cats; hydralazine produced hypotension in one cat and failed to control hypertension in 1 cat. After transplantation, seizures were observed in one cat and other neurologic complications (stupor, ataxia, and central blindness) were observed in three cats. The prevalence of seizures and neurologic complication-related deaths after transplantation was significantly reduced with treatment of postoperative hypertension.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance Hypertension is a major contributing factor to postoperative seizure activity after renal transplantation in cats; treatment of hypertension reduces the frequency of neurologic complications.