BK viremia surveillance and outcomes in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant recipients

Scott G. Westphal, Elizabeth R. Lyden, Eric D. Langewisch, Clifford D. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: While screening for asymptomatic BK viremia (BKV) has been well studied in isolated kidney transplant recipients, there is a paucity of published outcomes in simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant recipients who underwent BKV screening followed by pre-emptive reduction in immunosuppression. Methods: This is a single-center, retrospective review of 31 consecutive SPK recipients who were transplanted over a 5-year period following the initiation of a serum BKV screening protocol. Results: BK viremia developed in 11 (35.5%) patients, and all patients achieved complete viral clearance following reduction in immunosuppression. Two patients (6.5%) developed BK virus nephropathy, but both had preserved allograft function. One patient developed mild rejection of the kidney allograft following clearance of BKV, and two patients developed mild rejection of the pancreas allograft after reduction in immunosuppression, but there were no kidney or pancreas allograft losses due to rejection. The development of BK viremia did not impact overall patient survival or kidney and pancreas allograft survival. Conclusion: Screening asymptomatic SPK recipients for BKV followed by reduction in maintenance immunosuppression appears to be an effective strategy to prevent kidney allograft dysfunction and graft loss due to BK virus nephropathy, without compromising pancreas allograft outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13010
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • BK monitoring
  • BK nephropathy
  • BK viremia
  • immunosuppression
  • polyoma BK virus
  • simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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