BACKGROUND: Ulcers of the upper gastrointestinal tract after renal transplantation have been reported as a frequent and often lethal complication. Considering the continuous expansion of renal recipient criteria, we reviewed our experience with post-transplant ulcers after 1,034 renal transplants performed during the cyclosporine era. STUDY DESIGN: Our retrospective study analyzed only endoscopy-proven ulcers of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum in 439 (42 percent) living related adult recipients and 595 (58 percent) cadaver or living unrelated adult recipients. For ulcer prophylaxis, only oral antacids were routinely given post-transplant. RESULTS: There were 41 ulcers in 33 patients (esophageal: n=5, 12 percent; gastric: n=17, 42 percent; duodenal: n=19, 46 percent). Significant complications (n=16) included 15 bleeding episodes and one perforation. The pathogenesis was vital in seven cases (gastric: n=6, 15 percent; duodenal: n=1, 2 percent). The ulcers occurred significantly earlier post-transplant in cadaver or living unrelated compared with living related recipients (median, 53 compared with 508 days, p=0.02). Nonoperative treatment was successful for 96 percent of all ulcers. We found no ulcer-related mortality or graft loss. For living related recipients, the actuarial graft survival rate at three years was 69 percent for patients with ulcers compared with 86 percent for those without ulcers (p=0.02); for cadaver or living unrelated recipients, it was 48 percent for patients with ulcers compared with 77 percent for those without ulcers (p=0.9). For living related recipients, the actuarial patient survival rate at three years was 92 percent for patients with ulcers compared with 93 percent for those without ulcers (p=0.8); for cadaver or living unrelated recipients, it was 59 percent for patients with ulcers compared with 88 percent for those without ulcers (p=0.002). CONCLUSIONS: With more specific immunosuppression and more effective antiviral therapy, the incidence of post-transplant ulcers is low. Considering the excellent results of nonoperative ulcer therapy and a zero percent ulcer-related mortality rate, renal transplantation is safe for patients with specific (e.g., ulcer history) as well as nonspecific (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) ulcer risk factors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of the American College of Surgeons|
|State||Published - 1995|
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