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Rejection

What is rejection?

Your body’s defense system – immune system – protects you from “foreign invaders” such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. When a new organ is introduced into your body your immune system may recognize it as a “foreign invader”. This triggers an immune response as a result of your body’s immune cells attacking the cells of your new organ. This attack is called rejection. Rejection damages your new organ especially if it is not detected early.

One of the most common causes of rejection is skipping your doses of anti-rejection medications or taking them differently from how they were prescribed. This allows your immune system to become stronger and start rejecting your organ.

Most of the time the symptoms are very mild and may not be easily recognized. Inform your transplant team immediately if you have any of the following:

What are the signs of kidney transplant rejection?


  • Fever (greater than 100°F or 38°C), chills
  • Tenderness/pain over the transplanted area
  • Significant swelling of hands, eyelids or legs
  • Significantly decreased or no urine output
  • Weight gain (1-2kgs or 2-4lbs) in 24 hours
  • Significant: flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, body aches, tiredness

What are the signs of pancreas transplant rejection?


  • Fever (greater than 100°F or 38°C), chills
  • Rise in blood sugar
  • Decreased energy level
  • Tenderness/pain over the transplanted area
  • Significant: flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, body aches, tiredness

What are the signs of liver transplant rejection?


  • Fever (greater than 100°F or 38°C), chills
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Significant: flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, body aches, tiredness

What are the signs of heart transplant rejection?


These symptoms may feel somewhat like you felt before your transplant.

  • Decreased energy level
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Weight gain of one kilogram (2.2 pounds) per day, or more
  • Shortness of breath at rest or with normal activities
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure
  • Swelling of your or ankles
  • Significant: flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, body aches, tiredness

What are the signs of lung transplant rejection?


  • Fever (greater than 100°F or 38°C), chills
  • Chest pain or tenderness
  • Shortness of breath with light to moderate activity
  • Dry cough
  • Decreased energy level
  • Decrease in home spirometry
  • Decreased appetite and/or nausea
  • Significant: flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, body aches, tiredness

SOURCE: Rejection ( )
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