The significance of BK viruria and viremia in non-renal solid organ transplants is poorly understood. A systematic review was performed reviewing the incidence and implications of BK virus replication in non-renal solid organ transplants. Ninety-seven studies were identified, of which 18 including lung, heart, liver and pancreas transplants were included. The overall incidence of BK viruria and viremia was 20% and 3% respectively and 17 cases of BK nephropathy were identified. Heart transplant recipients had a higher overall incidence of BK viremia than other non-renal organ types, and the majority of cases of BK virus-associated nephropathy were in heart transplant recipients. The incidence of BK viremia was significantly lower in non-renal solid organ transplants than that of renal transplant recipients and BK virus-associated nephropathy was rare. BK virus-associated nephropathy may be considered in heart transplant recipients who have unexplained and persistent renal dysfunction not attributable to other causes.
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