BK virus nephropathy in non-renal solid organ transplant recipients: Are we looking hard enough?

Ravi K. Mallavarapu, Scott L. Sanoff, David N. Howell, John K. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We retrospectively examined the clinical characteristics, pathological features, and outcomes of BK viremia and nephropathy in a population of non-renal solid organ transplant patients (NRSOT) referred for outpatient nephrology consultation over a period of 5 years. In the entire cohort of liver, heart, and lung transplant recipients referred to this clinic, 14% percent were found to have BK viremia with a median peak serum BK viral load of 35 500 copies/ml (range 250 to 21 100 000 copies/ml). BK viremia resolved in six of the seventeen patients (35%). Four out of five patients biopsied showed BK virus (BKV) nephropathy. Eleven out of seventeen patients with BK viremia developed advanced (stage 4 or 5) chronic kidney disease. Four patients developed rejection of their solid organ transplant within the first year post detection of BK viremia after immunosuppression reduction. We conclude that a multi-center study is required to evaluate whether implementation of a systematic BK screening program would be effective in early detection and management of this problem in the NRSOT population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14265
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • BK virus
  • immunosuppression
  • renal failure
  • solid organ transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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