BK Virus-Associated Nephropathy without Viremia in an Adolescent Kidney Transplant Recipient

Achra Sumboonnanonda


BK virus can reactivate in kidney transplant recipients leading to BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN) and allograft dysfunction. Pathogenesis begins with viral replication, follows by viruria, viremia and nephropathy. Screening tools recommended for viral detection are urine and blood BK viral load. Viremia has higher positive predictive value than viruria, thus several guidelines recommend using viremia to determine whether renal biopsy, a gold standard for diagnosis of BKVAN is needed. We present a 16-year-old boy who developed BKVAN five months after deceased donor kidney transplantation. He had increased serum creatinine with negative blood BK viral load. BK nephropathy was diagnosed in kidney graft biopsy. The urine showed BK viruria. Immunosuppressant was reduced and ciprofloxacin given. Viruria disappeared and repeated graft biopsy was normal 4 months later. BK viremia was negative through 1 year follow up.

We conclude that BKVAN may occur even without viremia and BK viruria may be considered for screening tool. 


BKVAN; BK viremia; BK viruria; kidney transplantation

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