Refractory hypertension after renal transplantation
Donald R. Steinmuller, MDAddress reprint requests to Department of Hypertension and Nephrology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, One Clinic Center, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Hypertension is a common problem encountered after renal transplantation. Many different mechanisms may be responsible for hypertension in this setting, and therapy will depend upon the mechanism(s) affecting the individual patient. Factors that may cause or aggravate post-transplantation hypertension include renal dysfunction secondary to rejection or other diseases of the transplanted kidney, renin production from the diseased native kidneys if these kidneys have not been surgically removed, extracellular fluid volume expansion, toxic effects of medications used after transplantation, especially cyclosporine and intravenous prednisolone, or primary hypertension in the donor or recipient. Renal artery stenosis may predispose to acute renal failure in the presence of treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Severe renal artery stenosis may also lead to refractory salt and water retention and fluid overload with congestive heart failure and hypertension, mediated primarily due to extracellular fluid volume excess. Therapy with percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty or, as a last resort, surgery, can be successful in controlling these problems.