Background: Post-transplantation encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) causing bowel obstruction has been identified as a serious complication after kidney transplantation in patients previously treated with peritoneal dialysis. Systemic inflammation and abnormalities on an abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan are important hallmarks of EPS. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a case being diagnosed with late-onset post-transplantation EPS without systemic inflammation or abnormalities on a CT scan which could only be diagnosed by laparotomy. Case presentation. A 59-year old female presented because of symptoms of bowel obstruction 33 months after kidney transplantation. The patient had a 26-month history of peritoneal dialysis before her first kidney transplantation and was treated with peritoneal dialysis for 4 years before undergoing a second kidney transplantation. Physical examination was unremarkable and laboratory tests showed no signs of systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein <1 mg/L). An abdominal CT scan did not reveal any abnormalities fitting the diagnosis of EPS, except a "feces sign". Given the severity of the progressive symptoms, a diagnostic laparotomy was performed, visualizing a classical EPS. Total peritonectomy and enterolysis were performed, leading to restoration of peristalsis. Conclusion: EPS may occur several years after kidney transplantation in the absence of inflammation and typical radiological abnormalities. Obtaining a diagnosis of post-transplantation EPS is challenging, however, a low threshold for surgical exploration in case of high clinical suspicion and negative findings on the CT scan is mandatory.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Adhesiolysis, Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis, Feces sign, Kidney transplantation, Laparotomy, Peritonectomy
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2369-14-203, hdl.handle.net/1765/72741
Journal BMC Nephrology
Citation
Habib, S.M, Dor, F.J.M.F, Korte, M.R, Hagen, S.M, & Betjes, M.G.H. (2013). Post-transplantation encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis without inflammation or radiological abnormalities. BMC Nephrology, 14(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-203