8 doctors weighed in:

I had a kidney transplant. Doctor says I have bk virus. What is it and what can happen?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Willam Lau
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
3 doctors agree

In brief: Usually nothing

Bk virus is usually asymptomatic, but in renal transplant recepients can cause kidney graft failure in 1-5%.

In brief: Usually nothing

Bk virus is usually asymptomatic, but in renal transplant recepients can cause kidney graft failure in 1-5%.
Dr. Willam Lau
Dr. Willam Lau
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Dr. John Leander Po
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
1 doctor agrees

In brief: A problem for a few-

Part 2- what can happen? Since immunosuppression drugs are used in kidney transplant patients to reduce rejection, 1–10% of this population can experience bk virus nephropathy (bkvn), significantly increasing the risk of graft failure.
It's also associated with ureteral stenosis, interstitial nephritis, and in bone marrow transplant recipients, hemorrhagic cystitis (bloody urine).

In brief: A problem for a few-

Part 2- what can happen? Since immunosuppression drugs are used in kidney transplant patients to reduce rejection, 1–10% of this population can experience bk virus nephropathy (bkvn), significantly increasing the risk of graft failure.
It's also associated with ureteral stenosis, interstitial nephritis, and in bone marrow transplant recipients, hemorrhagic cystitis (bloody urine).
Dr. John Leander Po
Dr. John Leander Po
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Dr. John Leander Po
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Usually nothing but-

Part i - what it is: the bk virus is a member of the polyomavirus family.
It rarely causes disease since many who are infected are asymptomatic. Traveling in the blood, it infects the kidneys and urinary tract where it persists for the life of the individual. As a latent virus, until the body undergoes some form of immunosuppression. (continued).

In brief: Usually nothing but-

Part i - what it is: the bk virus is a member of the polyomavirus family.
It rarely causes disease since many who are infected are asymptomatic. Traveling in the blood, it infects the kidneys and urinary tract where it persists for the life of the individual. As a latent virus, until the body undergoes some form of immunosuppression. (continued).
Dr. John Leander Po
Dr. John Leander Po
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Dr. W. James Chon
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis

In brief: Depends

BK viruria (virus in the urine) is quite common and but high grade viruria or viremia (virus in the blood) can lead to BK virus nephropathy and if nothing is done about it, it can lead to the loss of the transplanted kidney.
Treatment of BK viremia or nephropathy involves carefully reducing immunosuppression but it will increase the risk of rejection.

In brief: Depends

BK viruria (virus in the urine) is quite common and but high grade viruria or viremia (virus in the blood) can lead to BK virus nephropathy and if nothing is done about it, it can lead to the loss of the transplanted kidney.
Treatment of BK viremia or nephropathy involves carefully reducing immunosuppression but it will increase the risk of rejection.
Dr. W. James Chon
Dr. W. James Chon
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Dr. Terry Woodard
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis

In brief: Not dangerous

Bk virus is very common (about 60% of population) and usually benign.
In kidney transplants, it can be associated with interstitial nephritis (inflammation of kidney tissue), or small ulcers in the ureter (connects kidney to bladder). It rarely causes significant loss of function and no effective treatment is currently shown to be effective. It is usually of little consequence.

In brief: Not dangerous

Bk virus is very common (about 60% of population) and usually benign.
In kidney transplants, it can be associated with interstitial nephritis (inflammation of kidney tissue), or small ulcers in the ureter (connects kidney to bladder). It rarely causes significant loss of function and no effective treatment is currently shown to be effective. It is usually of little consequence.
Dr. Terry Woodard
Dr. Terry Woodard
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