Renal histological lesions and outcome in liver transplant recipients

Mykola Tsapenko, Ziad M. El-Zoghby, Sanjeev Sethi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic kidney disease in liver transplant (OLT) recipients is often attributed to calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) toxicity, but little is known about the spectrum of their renal histological lesions. Methods: Between 1988 and 2008, 1698 OLTs were performed in our center. We retrospectively analyzed clinical and histological data on 23 recipients (1.4%) referred for kidney biopsy (KB). Results: Median age at OLT was 50.2yr, 65.2% were men, 30.4% had hepatitis C, and 95.7% were given CNI. KB was performed 6.9yr (median) post-OLT. Median creatinine was 1mg/dL pre-OLT and 2.2mg/dL at KB. Main pathological diagnoses were focal segmental and global glomerulosclerosis (n=8, 34.8%), glomerular diseases (7, 30.4%), CNI toxicity (2, 8.7%), and diabetic nephropathy (2, 8.7%). Moderate/severe interstitial fibrosis, tubular atrophy, arteriosclerosis, and hyalinosis were present in 47.8%, 43.5%, 60.9%, and 56.5%, respectively. Twelve patients (52.5%) reached end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and 17 (73.9%) died. Death was more common among those reaching ESRD, but the difference was not significant (83.3% vs. 63.6%, p=0.37). Conclusion: Renal histology is variable and not limited to CNI toxicity in OLT recipients referred for KB. Whether management based on KB findings can directly improve outcomes remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E48-E54
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Kidney biopsy
  • Liver transplant
  • Renal histology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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