Thrombotic microangiopathy in renal transplant recipients treated with cyclosporin A

R. Zent, A. Kaiz, S. Quaggin, D. Cattran, J. Wade, C. Cardella, J. Zaltzman, S. Fenton, E. Cole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Thrombotic microangiopathy is an uncommon but well described complication of renal transplantation. This study is a review of the case records of 18 patients with biopsy proven posttransplant thrombotic microangiopathy, without cellular rejection. There was no single characteristic underlying cause of renal failure in native kidneys. Although only two (11%) patients had undergone previous transplantation, 16 (89%) had panel reactive antibodies (PRA). All patients received prophylactic antilymphocyte globulin, a single patient had cyclosporin A (CSA) at the time of transplant and in 16 patients CSA was introduced when graft function was established. On this protocol 16 (89%) patients had early graft function. All patients developed acute renal failure and 16 (89%) required dialysis. Nine (50%) patients developed hematological abnormalities. All patients were treated aggressively with anti-rejection therapy, CSA was temporarily withdrawn, and 2 (11%) patients received plasmapheresis. Seven (39%) patients lost their grafts. Renal function in the remaining patients recovered to serum creatinine levels ranging from 104 μmol/l to 430 μmol/l (1.2 mg% to 4.8 mg%). All patients with surviving grafts had CSA successfully reintroduced. This study indicates that there is an association between patients who develop posttransplant thrombotic microangiopathy after CSA administration and high PRA levels. The condition appears to respond to anti-rejection therapy and stopping CSA in the majority of cases. The safe reintroduction of CSA suggests that endothelial cell damage in the posttransplant period may be multifactorial and not solely due to CSA therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cyclosporin
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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