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Urine Leak Following Kidney Transplantation: An Evidence-based Management Plan

Care of kidney transplant recipient remains complex and long-term graft survival is not seen in every transplant recipient. Due to reduced supply and increased demand of human organs, more transplants are carried out using marginal grafts on emergency lists. Transplant recipients have altered physiology due to known end-stage renal disease, recent surgery and the use of potent analgesic and immunosuppressive medications. Amongst the known surgical complications, urine leak remains the most common. It can result from poor graft preparation due to excessive peri ureteric or lower pole dissection or damage to lower polar artery resulting in ischemic necrosis. In addition, poor surgical technique, bladder outflow obstruction, iatrogenic injury to bladder or renal pelvis may contribute to urine leak. On-going urine leak may manifest itself as swelling, pain, high drain output, sepsis, ileus and eventual graft loss. Early identification, localisation and quantification of leak remain essential in management of these patients. In addition, sepsis should be identified and treated promptly as these patients are highly susceptible to infections. Early recognition of this complication can significantly reduce hospital stay, improve quality of life, reduce graft loss and mortality. In this article, we aim to develop an evidence-based management approach to a patient with urine leak using a clinical scenario.


Shafiq A Chughtai, Ajay Sharma and Ahmed Halawa

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