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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002 Oct;126(10):1201-4.

Intestinal ischemia.

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Department of Pathology, New York Medical College, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, USA.



As rejection in renal transplantation has become better controlled, gastrointestinal complications have become increasingly important. Ischemic colitis and colonic perforation are the most common of these lesions, contributing to morbidity and mortality in the early postoperative period.


We undertook this study to identify factors contributing to the risk of intestinal ischemia in patients undergoing renal transplantation and to define circumstances that may affect that risk.


We studied 356 patients undergoing renal transplantation during a 40-month period. We reviewed medical records, surgical pathology reports, autopsy reports, and pathology slides.


Eleven (3.1%) of the patients developed ischemia of the small or large bowel or both within 20 days after transplantation, and 6 (54.5%) died as a result. Ten of these patients had received cadaveric kidneys and were older than 40 years. There was no sex predilection. The most common segment involved was the terminal ileum and ascending colon. We discuss possible reasons underlying these observations in this article.


The mechanism behind posttransplantation intestinal ischemia is multifactorial, but regardless of etiology, it is important to emphasize the risk of intestinal ischemia in patients who develop abdominal symptoms during the early posttransplantation period, particularly in patients older than 40 years who have received cadaveric kidneys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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