BK virus-associated nephropathy in sirolimus-treated renal transplant patients: Incidence, course, and clinical outcomes

Carlos A. Benavides, Vida B. Pollard, Shamila Mauiyyedi, Hemangshu Podder, Richard Knight, Barry D. Kahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Because the course of polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN) has not been evaluated in a large cohort of patients receiving sirolimus (SRL)-based regimens, we have herein presented the incidence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of 378 renal transplant recipients treated with SRL-based immunosuppression. METHODS. This retrospective single center study evaluated 344 kidney alone (KTX) and 34 simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantations performed between June 2000 and December 2004. RESULTS. At a mean follow-up of 43.3 months, six kidney (1.7%) and three kidney-pancreas (9.0%) transplanted patients displayed biopsy-proven PVAN. The mean time to diagnosis after transplantation was 18.2 months (range: 3.5-31.1 months), with a higher incidence among patients exposed (4.23%) versus not exposed to rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG; 0.53%; P=0.019) or SPK (9.0%) versus KTX (1.7%) recipients (odds ratio: 5.43; confidence interval: 1.29-22.8; P=0.038). Despite treatment with cidofovir, reduced immunosuppression and maintenance therapy with no agents other than SRL (C0=10.2±2.7 ng/dL) plus modest doses of prednisone (≤5 mg), five patients (55.5%) experienced renal allograft failure. No rejection episodes were documented during the PVAN treatment and pancreatic function continued to be excellent among the SPK patients. CONCLUSIONS. Patients treated with SRL-based immunosuppression showed an incidence at the lower end of the range described with various other contemporaneous immunosuppressive regimens and with other cohorts not undergoing BK virus polymerase chain reaction surveillance. Exposure to rATG and SPK transplantation represented risk factors for the occurrence of PVAN, which showed a pernicious course despite withdrawal of calcineurin antagonists and/or mycophenolate mofetil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Associated nephropathy
  • BK virus
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Polyoma virus
  • Sirolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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