Gastrointestinal complications of renal transplantation. 1. The upper gastrointestinal tract.
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In 95 consecutive cases of cavaderic renal transplantation followed up for 1 to 83 months (mean 23.1 months) 17 complications developed in the upper gastrointestinal tract of 15 patients; these included duodenal ulcer in 12 and gastric ulcer, esophagitis, hemorrhagic gastritis, small-bowel obstruction and small-bowel perforation in 1 each. The occurrence of a complication was not related to the patient's age, sex, blood group or use of cigarettes or alcohol, the duration of hemodialysis before transplantation, the tissue match or the number of infusions of immunosuppressive medication. One patient died of the complication. The peptic ulcers that developed after transplantation were successfully managed conservatively in 69% of cases. Since surgical treatment in patients whose immune response has been suppressed is associated with an increased frequency of complications such as disruption of suture lines, it is preferable to reserve it for those in whom complications develop that are unresponsive to conservative measures.
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