An OPTN analysis of national registry data on treatment of BK virus allograft nephropathy in the United States

Vikas R. Dharnidharka, Wida S. Cherikh, Kevin C. Abbott

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167 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION.: Published data for BK virus allograft nephropathy, a recently emerged graft-threatening complication of kidney transplantation, are from limited-center series. Since June 30, 2004, the Organ Procurement Transplant Network national registry in the United States started collecting data on treatment of BK virus (TBKV) on the kidney follow-up forms. This study determined the rates of TBKV within 24 months posttransplant time and elucidated the risk factors for TBKV from this multicenter database. METHODS.: We queried the database for all primary and solitary kidney transplant recipients transplanted between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2006, followed through July 18, 2008, and who were reported to have TBKV. Cumulative incidence of TBKV over time was estimated using Kaplan-Meier (K-M) method to reduce potential under reporting. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was fitted to determine risk factors for TBKV development, and time dependent Cox model was fitted to determine if TBKV was associated with higher risk of graft loss. RESULTS.: We included 48,292 primary and solitary kidney transplants from the US Organ Procurement Transplant Network database. The cumulative K-M incidence of BKVAN kept rising over time (0.70% at 6 months posttransplant to 2.18% at 1 year, 3.45% at 2 years and 6.6% at 5 years). Risk for BKVAN was higher with certain immunosuppressive regimens that included rabbit antithymocyte globulin or tacrolimus/mycophenolate combinations. Higher center volume and living kidney donation exerted a protective effect. Of concern, TBKV rates were significantly higher in more recent transplant years. TBKV report was associated with higher risk of subsequent graft loss (adjusted hazard ratio=1.69, P<0.001).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1026
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 15 2009


  • BK virus
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infection
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Polyoma


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