Intestinal Perforation in Renal Transplant Recipients: A Single Center Experience of 2123 Recipients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Intestinal perforation remains a clinical challenge and potentially lethal complication in renal transplant recipients. Immunosuppression not only places the patient at risk for intestinal perforation but also masks classic clinical symptoms and signs of acute abdominal pain, leading to delayed diagnosis and proper treatment. The aim of our study is to present the experience of our center on the treatment of intestinal perforation in renal transplant recipients.

Materials and methods

This study reported 11 patients (0.52%) with intestinal perforation among a group of 2123 patients who received renal transplants in the Transplantation Unit at Laikon General Hospital in Athens, Greece from 1983 to August 2015.


One patient died from septic shock before any surgery, and 3 patients died during the early postoperative period, resulting in a morality rate of 36.3%. All patients who died had a functioning graft. From the patients who were discharged, the mean follow-up was 16 months (range, 4-32 months).


Intestinal perforation after renal transplant is a major and potentially lethal complication. Clinical presentation is usually equivocal, and the transplant surgeon should be highly suspicious when treating a renal transplant recipient with acute abdominal pain, even in cases without other predisposing factors (diverticulitis, ischemic colitis, and so forth), so that this condition could be investigated and unmasked.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kakavia, K; Moris, D; Karatza, E; Bokos, J; Vernadakis, S; Barlas, A; Sotirchos, G; Diles, K; Drakopoulos, S; Zavos, G

Published Date

  • October 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 497 - 502

PubMed ID

  • 27228089

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2146-8427

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1304-0855

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.6002/ect.2015.0282


  • eng