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Rapamycin-induced posterior reversible encephalopathy in a kidney transplantation patient

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Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is characterized by abnormalities in cerebral white matter and neurologic symptoms. It can be caused by immunosuppressive drugs or autoimmune diseases. We describe a case of PRES in a kidney transplantation patient treated with rapamycin.


A 24-year-old woman, who received kidney transplantation 8 years ago, presented hypertension (220/120 mmHg), blindness, paralysis of left extremities, vomiting, convulsions and unconsciousness after rapamycin treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed brain lesions suggestive of PRES. Rapamycin was withdrawn, and repeated MRI indicated progressive resolution within 2 months.


Although neurotoxicity of rapamycin is relatively low, it can induce PRES in kidney transplantation patients.

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Conflict of interest statement

Institutional Review Board (IRB)/Ethics Committee approval has been obtained. There is no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Ping Fu.

Additional information

Wei Qin and Chun Yu Tan contribute equally to this article.

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Qin, W., Tan, C.Y., Huang, X. et al. Rapamycin-induced posterior reversible encephalopathy in a kidney transplantation patient. Int Urol Nephrol 43, 913–916 (2011).

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  • PRES
  • Rapamycin
  • Kidney transplantation