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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Renal Tubular Acidosis in Renal Transplant Patients: The Effect of Immunosuppressive Drugs

Mehmet Tanrisev, Ozkan Gungor, Ismail Kocyigit, Yusuf Kurtulmus, Cem Tugmen, Hulya Colak, Orcun Altunoren, Eyup Kebapci, Cezmi Karaca

Department of Nephrology, Izmir Tepecik Research and Training Hospital, Izmir, Turkey

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:85-91

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.892320

Available online: 2015-02-09

Published: 2015-02-09


Background: Renal tubular acidosis (RTA) is a non-anion gap metabolic acidosis and is generally mild and asymptomatic in kidney recipients. Calcineurine inhibitors (CNIs) increase the frequency of RTA but the frequency of RTA development in kidney transplant recipients receiving mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (mTORi) treatment remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the frequency of RTA in kidney transplant recipients on mTORi and CNI treatment and to compare both groups.
Material and Methods: We enrolled 137 adult renal transplant patients – 82 patients on mTORi and 55 patients on CNI who had similar age, sex, posttransplant follow-up period, and graft functions. We recorded the parameters of venous blood gas analysis, including serum pH value, serum bicarbonate (HCO3) concentration, presence of metabolic acidosis defined as low HCO3 (<22 mEq/L), and serum pH value (<7.35), as well as base excess and urine pH at last follow-up. RTA was defined to be metabolic acidosis with normal serum anion gap and positive urine anion gap.
Results: The mean age of our study population was 41.2±11.3 years. RTA frequency was 35% in the mTORi group and 41% in the CNI group. mTORi and CNI groups did not differ significantly in terms of the development of metabolic and renal tubular acidosis. Type I RTA was common in both groups. RTA was affected by duration of time since transplantation and graft functions in both groups.
Conclusions: The rates of RTA development in patients on long-term CNI and mTORi treatment were similar.

Keywords: Acidosis, Renal Tubular, Immunosuppressive Agents, Kidney Transplantation