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Evaluation of the prevalence of infections in cats after renal transplantation: 169 cases (1987–2003)

Elissa Kadar BVSc1, Jane E. Sykes BVSc, PhD, DACVIM2, Philip H. Kass DVM, PhD, DACVPM3, Lynda Bernsteen DVM, DACVS4,5, Clare R. Gregory DVM, DACVS6, and Andrew E. Kyles BVMS, PhD, DACVS7
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  • 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Present address is the VCA Sacramento Medical Group, 4990 Manzanita Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608.
  • | 6 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 7 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of infections developing postoperatively, document the contribution of infection to increased risk of death, and identify risk factors associated with the development of infectious complications in cats after renal transplantation.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—169 cats that received renal allograft transplants.

Procedures—Medical records of cats receiving renal transplants at the University of California from January 1987 through December 2003 were reviewed.

Results—47 infections developed in 43 of 169 cats. Bacterial infections were most common (25/47 cats), followed by viral (13/47), fungal (6/47), and protozoal (3/47) infections. The median duration from transplant surgery to development of infection was 2.5 months. Infection was the second most common cause of death after acute rejection of the transplant, accounting for 14% of deaths overall. Cats with concurrent diabetes mellitus had a significantly increased risk of developing an infection after renal transplantation. Sex, increasing age, concurrent neoplasia, and previous treatment for transplant rejection were not associated with development of infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Infection was a common complication and an important cause of death or euthanasia in cats after renal transplantation. Development of diabetes mellitus after transplantation significantly increased the risk of infection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:948–953)