Ultrasound color Doppler assessment of early complications after kidney transplantation
Type:Educational Electronic Presentation
Authors: João M. Alegrio, Ivo Sá Marques, Pedro Belo Soares, Paulo Donato
Keywords:Doppler ultrasound, kidney transplant
Educational objective

The main goal of this poster is to review the normal ultrasound and color Doppler post-operative findings on kidney transplantation, as well as to illustrate and discuss the possible early complications of this procedure that can be detected by this imaging method.

Topic Review

Ultrasound with colour Doppler is a very important tool to follow and study patients who go through kidney transplantation.  It can be easily performed and, as the graft is normally in a superficial and accessible position, it can be studied in a lot of detail.


1. Expected imaging features in the early post-operative

  • 1.1. Small increase in kidney size through the first weeks
  • 1.2. Slightly hyperechoic cortical (with preserved differentiation between cortical and medullary)



2. Direct surgical procedure complications

  • 2.1. Haematoma
    • Typically in the first 2 weeks...

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Fig. 1: Two weeks after transplant. Heterogeneous peri-renal fluid collection, with inner septa, in line with haematoma.
Fig. 2: Four weeks after transplant. Anechoic peri-renal collection, not seen in earlier weeks' exams. Diagnosed as a lymphocele after drainage.


Doppler ultrasound is a vastly available method and the most used imaging tool in the post-operative assessment of kidney transplantation, allowing us to detect the most common complications as early as possible. Being familiar with the normal imaging features of these grafts and being alert for the main complications that can occur and what they can look like in a Doppler ultrasound is key in the fast and correct management of these patients.