Enteric oxalate nephropathy in the renal allograft: An underrecognized complication of bariatric surgery

M. L. Troxell, D. C. Houghton, M. Hawkey, T. D. Batiuk, W. M. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Enteric hyperoxalosis is a recognized complication of bariatric surgery, with consequent oxalate nephropathy leading to chronic kidney disease and occasionally end-stage renal failure. In patients with prior gastrointestinal bypass surgery, renal allografts are also at risk of oxalate nephropathy. Further, transplant recipients may be exposed to additional causes of hyperoxalosis. We report two cases of renal allograft oxalate nephropathy in patients with remote histories of bariatric surgery. Conservative management led to improvement of graft function in one patient, while the other patient returned to dialysis. Interpretation of serologic, urine and biopsy studies is complicated by oxalate accumulation in chronic renal failure, and heightened excretion in the early posttransplant period. A high index of suspicion and careful clinicopathologic correlation on the part of transplant nephrologists and renal pathologists are required to recognize and treat allograft oxalate nephropathy. As the incidence of obesity and pretransplant bariatric surgery increases in the transplant population, allograft oxalate nephropathy is likely to be an increasing cause of allograft dysfunction. As more transplant patients undergo bariatric surgery, allograft oxalate nephropathy is likely to increase in prevalence; a high index of suspicion as well as thorough clinicopathologic correlation is needed for early diagnosis and appropriate management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • hyperoxaluria
  • obesity
  • oxalate nephropathy
  • renal allograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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