Home > Health, July 2009 > BK Virus

BK Virus

I had my quarterly visit to the Transplant Surgeon on Monday, and everything at the visit was good. My creatinine is 1.2, hemoglobin is stable, and blood sugar normal (sometimes Prograf can cause elevated blood sugars).

However, I received a call today from the Transplant Nurse, and my urine tested positive for BK virus.

For those unfamiliar with this, BK virus is present in 80% of humans, but remains “latent” due to the immune system keeping it at bay. In those like me who are immunosuppressed, BK can “reactivate”. The problem is that BK can cause damage to the kidney.

So, I just gave a urine sample which will be a quantitative test for BK (they will count the amount of the virus present in my urine). If the number is over 2,000,000, they will then check to see if it’s in my blood. The treatment is usually to decrease the CellCept dose. However, since mine was just decreased from 2 capsule every 12 hours to 1 capsule every 12 hours, they may stop mine for now, and I’ll just be on Prograf.

My guess is that when I was over-immunosuppressed this past spring (my immune cell function was in the 70’s, which is very low, and an indicator of over-suppression), and that is how it reactivated; my last immune cell function was in the 200’s, which is where they want it. It is what it is, and I’ll just deal with what I have to. However, I’m not too worried, as I’ve talked to patients who this happened to, and they did fine.

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  1. July 19, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Good attitude on the BK, I’m routing for you. I send in my first sample on Tues. (3 mo. out).

  2. July 19, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks Gayle. Great to hear you had a transplant? How is everything going?

    As for my BK, it’s strange that I’m 14 months out and just having it “pop up”. However, I’m sure it’s because of the level of immunosuppression. I’m just glad that they caught it early, and routinely check my Immune Cell Function.

    Keep in touch.

  3. gaylechipman
    July 20, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I’m doing great, #’s in range. I take 4 Cellcepts per day so I also take Imodium. šŸ™‚ Only 2 Prograft per day and 5 mg Prednisone.

  4. July 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I had taken 4 CellCept/day in the beginning, but this past April, my Immune Cell Function dipped pretty low, so they cut back to 1 every 12 hours. I hear ya on the Imodium; I took it often in the beginning, but I eventually got back to “regularity”.

  5. Tesa
    November 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    We were just dignosed with BK I am very scared my son is 10 and had 2 transplants and his anti body level is very high, so finding a nother kidney for him if we lose this one is so scary.

    • December 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm

      Sorry to hear that. Is he having any changes in his creatinine yet? Has he had a biopsy? (I haven’t had one at all)

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