ORLANDO, Fla.—Ureteral stent placement during kidney transplantation significantly increases the risk of BK viruria and viremia, according to study findings presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2013 Spring Clinical Meetings.

The findings are from a retrospective study of 661 kidney transplant recipients, of whom 293 received a ureteral stent during transplantation and 368 did not. BK viruria and BK viremia developed in 30% and 21% of the stent group, respectively, versus 23.4% and 16.5% of the non-stent group. In multivariate analysis, ureteral stent placement was associated with a significant 83% increased risk of BK viruria and a 65% increased risk of BK viremia, investigators Faris Hashim, MD, and colleagues at the University of Florida in Gainesville reported. All patients who had BK viruria or viremia underwent immunosuppression dose reductions to clear the infection. No grafts were lost due to BK virus nephropathy, the investigators stated in a poster presentation.

The authors recommended BK virus screening for all patients undergoing kidney transplantation, especially those receiving stents.

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Previous research has shown that ureteral stent placement is associated with a fourfold increased risk of BK virus nephropathy, Dr. Hashim’s group noted.