University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Gastrointestinal complications after kidney transplantation
Doctoral dissertation, April 2006.
The aim of the study was to evaluate gastrointestinal (GI) complications after kidney transplantation in the Finnish population. The adult patients included underwent kidney transplantation at Helsinki University Central Hospital in 1990-2000.
Data on GI complications were collected from the Finnish Kidney Transplantation Registry, patient records and from questionnaires sent to patients. Helicobacter pylori IgG and IgA antibodies were measured from 500 patients before kidney transplantation and after a median 6.8-year follow up. Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy with biopsies was performed on 46 kidney transplantation patients suffering from gastroduodenal symptoms and 43 dyspeptic controls for studies of gastroduodenal cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Gallbladder ultrasound was performed on 304 patients after a median of 7.4 years post transplantation. Data from these 304 patients were also collected on serum lipids, body mass index and the use of statin medication.
Severe GI complications occurred in 147 (10%) of 1515 kidney transplantations, 6% of them fatal after a median of 0.93 years. 51% of the complications occurred during the first post transplantation year, with highest incidence in gastroduodenal ulcers and complications of the colon. Patients with GI complications were older and had more delayed graft function and patients with polycystic kidney disease had more GI complications than the other patients. H.pylori seropositivity rate was 31% and this had no influence on graft or patient survival. 29% of the H.pylori seropositive patients seroreverted without eradication therapy. 74% of kidney transplantation patients had CMV specific matrix protein pp65 or delayed early protein p52 positive findings in the gastroduodenal mucosa, and 53% of the pp65 or p52 positive patients had gastroduodenal erosions without H.pylori findings. After the transplantation 165 (11%) patients developed gallstones. A biliary complication including 1 fatal cholecystitis developed in 15% of the patients with gallstones. 13 (0.9%) patients had pancreatitis. Colon perforations, 31% of them fatal, occurred in 16 (1%) patients. 13 (0.9%) developed a GI malignancy during the follow up. 2 H.pylori seropositive patients developed gastroduodenal malignancies during the follow up.
In conclusion, severe GI complications usually occur early after kidney transplantation. Colon perforations are especially serious in kidney transplantation patients and colon diverticulosis and gallstones should be screened and treated before transplantation. When found, H.pylori infection should also be treated in these patients.
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© University of Helsinki 2006
Last updated 04.04.2006