Acute kidney injury in kidney transplant patients
Managing kidney transplant patients in an acute medical unit can be challenging, as patients have a single functioning kidney, underlying chronic kidney disease, and are immunosuppressed. Transplant patients develop AKI for all usual reasons but the differential diagnosis is wider and includes specific problems, such as obstruction of a single functioning kidney, vascular thrombosis, rejection, drug toxicity and drug-induced thrombotic microangiopathy. Septic AKI is common but again, the differential diagnosis of sepsis is wider. Transplant patients are at higher risk of developing both community and opportunistic infections, especially in the first year after the transplant or after any increase in immunosuppressive medication. In addition, there is always a risk of rejection, especially in case of reduction of immunosuppressive medications. Therefore, any change in the immunosuppressive therapy should to be discussed with the transplant team to achieve an appropriate balance between avoiding rejection and preventing opportunistic infections.