Types of kidney rejection that may occur

Hyperacute rejection
(immediately following surgery)
Acute rejection
(first few weeks to months after surgery)
Chronic rejection
(may last months to years)
When Occurs rarely, either during or right after surgery. Complete, immediate organ failure results May develop over a brief period, sometimes without warning symptoms. Usually during the first weeks or months May come on slowly, lasting months to years
Prevention measures Usually prevented by careful organ crossmatching Monitoring through tests and changes in anti-rejection medicines Take prescribed medicines exactly as directed. Prevention and early treatment of acute rejection reduce the risk of chronic rejection. Check yourself carefully as directed by your transplant team

Possible signs and symptoms of kidney rejection may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Change in pulse rate
  • Little or no urine
  • Temperature of 100.5°F or higher, even if it goes away
  • Pain or tenderness in the area of your transplanted kidney
  • Flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, tiredness, headache, dizziness, or body aches and pains

It is important that you call your transplant team if you have any of these, or any other unusual symptoms. It’s possible for rejection to occur without any symptoms. Kidney rejection may be detected with lab tests, and so you should try not to miss any of your appointments.

Types of kidney rejection according to Kidney Link, www.kidneylink.org/ComplicationsPostTransplant.aspx, accessed October 14, 2014. Possible signs and symptoms of kidney rejection according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, www.transplantliving.org/after-the-transplant/staying-healthy/preventing-rejection/, accessed October 14, 2014.