Transplantation and kidney problems
Is it true that transplant recipients eventually develop kidney problems? If so, can you explain why? Is it possible to avoid this kind of complication?
Transplant recipients (lung or other organs) are indeed at risk of developing kidney problems, primarily because of the mandatory use of anti-rejection drugs. Cyclosporine A is the most important anti-rejection drug. Although it is essential, Cyclosporine A decreases blood filtration through the kidneys and may cause hypertension (which can in turn affect kidney function over time). The dose has to be precisely regulated and any hypertension must be treated with medication. A similar drug, tacrolimus, is very effective in preventing organ rejection, but has the same side effects as Cyclosporine A (i.e., kidney dysfunction and hypertension).
With the discovery of new forms of anti-rejection treatment (less toxic medications, new formulations of current drugs), it will undoubtedly become easier to maintain kidney function after transplantation. An initial clinical study indicated that aerosolized cyclosporine could provide a substantial survival advantage to lung transplant recipients. Hopefully, this new formulation will also make it possible to solve the issue of chronic organ rejection, which is the greatest obstacle in the field of transplantation. Further studies on this subject will be necessary.