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Transpl Int. 2005 Feb;18(2):131-9.

Protocol biopsies after kidney transplantation.

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Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Numerous studies have investigated features of allograft injury in renal biopsies obtained in stable kidney transplants. Evaluation of protocol biopsies has revealed a considerably high prevalence of subclinical acute rejection (SAR) and chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN) already in early phases after transplantation. The meanwhile well-established association of SAR and CAN in protocol biopsy with long-term allograft failure and the finding of superior allograft outcome after treatment of SAR in a randomized prospective study may point to clinical relevance of this procedure. In this review, potential benefits and risks associated with kidney allograft biopsy in stable renal transplant recipients are discussed.

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