Insights From the Eye for Patients With Kidney Transplant. Transplant Proc 2022;Abstract.
The eye and the kidney share structural and developmental similarities on a cellular and clinical level, and they are often affected by the same disease processes. Performing an eye exam to look for signs of conditions such as hypertension and diabetes can provide a helpful window into the health of the kidney. Patients with kidney transplants (KT) are a unique population that require close monitoring. These patients are maintained on a number of immunosuppressive medications and may face complications such as medication side effects, infections, and graft rejection. Patients with KT are at higher risk of both infectious and noninfectious eye conditions related to underlying systemic disease or use of immunosuppressive medications. Screening for eye conditions is important because preserving visual function is integral to quality of life, and also because the eye exam can help with early detection and treatment of systemic conditions. Here we describe some of the common eye findings and conditions in patients with KT. We recommend that patients with KT receive annual eye exams, and we hope that the information provided here can help nephrologists become more familiar with eye findings and identify situations where a referral to ophthalmology is warranted.