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Clin Nephrol. 2004 Apr;61(4):282-8.

An atypical course of Caroli's disease in a renal transplant patient--case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Tawam Hospital, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE.


This is a rare case of Caroli's disease, diagnosed following renal transplantation in a patient with autosomal recessive polycystic kidneys. Despite advanced cystic transformation of the biliary tree with striking architectural changes, there was no evidence of portal hypertension or hepatic fibrosis. Moreover, the patient did not suffer a single episode of cholangitis, a most interesting feature of this case. Her clinical course was punctuated by repeated episodes of gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections with resistant organisms; but fortunately, she had no evidence of septicemia. Recurrent Salmonella gastroenteritis indicated a chronic carrier state with the dilated bile ducts possibly acting as a potential reservoir. This has significant implications considering the immune suppression associated with renal transplantation. In general, Caroli's disease is rare. Therefore, a high index of suspicion for the diagnosis of Caroli's disease is warranted especially in patients with ARPKD or ADPKD. Once confirmed, affected patients with end-stage renal disease such as our patient, should ideally undergo combined liver-kidney transplantation.

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