Renal dysfunction following bone marrow transplantation

Stephan Kemmner, Mareike Verbeek, Uwe Heemann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury and long-term renal dysfunction are common problems following bone morrow transplantation (BMT) and highly related to mortality. The frequency and risk of renal dysfunction are directly related to the method of BMT, with myeloablative allogeneic BMT being associated to the highest risk followed by non-myeloablative allogeneic and myeloablative autologous BMT. The type of BMT is, thus, more important than co-factors such as advanced age, comorbidities, or high baseline serum creatinine. The causes for renal failure are multiple and include chemotherapy and high-dose radiation with fluid loss by diarrhea or vomiting, sepsis or nephrotoxic drugs such as calcineurin inhibitors and antimicrobials. Additionally, there are BMT-specific reasons for renal dysfunction including marrow infusion toxicity, hepatic veno-occlusive disease, thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) and graft versus host disease (GvHD). Once the kidney has been damaged, the therapy depends on the underlying disease. Particularly in cases of TMA and GvHD, immunosuppressive therapy is essential. In TMA, plasma exchange therapy or eculizumab should be additionally considered if the complement system is affected. Hence, patients with these causes should preferably be referred to tertiary centers to allow early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Renal dysfunction


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