Introduction: Short-term and long-term results of renal transplantation have improved over the past 15 years. However, there has been no change in the prevalence of recurrent and de novo diseases. A retrospective study was initiated through the Renal Allograft Disease Registry, to evaluate the prevalence and impact of recurrent and de novo diseases after transplantation.
Materials and methods: From October 1987 to December 1996, a total of 4913 renal transplants were performed on adults at the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Cincinnati, University of California at San Francisco, University of Louisville, University of Washington, Seattle, and Washington University School of Medicine. The patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year. A total of 167 (3.4%) cases of recurrent and de novo disease were diagnosed by renal biopsy. These patients were compared with other patients who did not have recurrent and de novo disease (n=4746). There were more men (67.7% vs. 59.8%, P<0.035) and a higher number of re-transplants (17% vs. 11.5%, P<0.005) in the recurrent and de novo disease group. There was no difference in the rate of recurrent and de novo disease according to the transplant type (living related donor vs. cadaver, P=NS). Other demographic findings were not significantly different. Common forms of glomerulonephritis seen were focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), 57; immunoglobulin A nephritis, 22; membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (GN), 18; and membranous nephropathy, 16. Other diagnoses include: diabetic nephropathy, 19; immune complex GN, 12; crescentic GN (vasculitis), 6; hemolytic uremic syndrome-thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (HUS/TTP), 8; systemic lupus erythematosus, 3; Anti-glomerular basement membrane disease, 2; oxalosis, 2; and miscellaneous, 2. The diagnosis of recurrent and de novo disease was made after a mean period of 678 days after the transplant. During the follow-up period, there were significantly more graft failures in the recurrent disease group, 55% vs. 25%, P<0.001. The actuarial 1-, 2-, 3-, 4, and 5-year kidney survival rates for patients with recurrent and de novo disease was 86.5%, 78.5%, 65%, 47.7%, and 39.8%. The corresponding survival rates for patients without recurrent and de novo disease were 85.2%, 81.2%, 76.5%, 72%, and 67.6%, respectively (Log-rank test, P<0.0001). The median kidney survival rate for patients with and without recurrent and de novo disease was 1360 vs. 3382 days (P<0.0001). Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model for graft failure was performed to identify various risk factors. Cadaveric transplants, prolonged cold ischemia time, elevated panel reactive antibody, and recurrent disease were identified as risk factors for allograft failure. The relative risk (95% confidence interval) for graft failure because of recurrent and de novo disease was 1.9 (1.57-2.40), P<0.0001. The relative risk for graft failure because of posttransplant FSGS was 2.25 (1.6-3.1), P<0.0001, for membranoprolifera. tive glomerulonephritis was 2.37 (1.3-4.2), P<0.003, and for HUS/TTP was 5.36 (2.2-12.9), P<0.0002. There was higher graft failure (64.9%) and shorter half-life (1244 days) in patients with recurrent FSGS.
Conclusion: In conclusion, recurrent and de novo disease are associated with poorer long-term survival, and the relative risk of allograft loss is double. Significant impact on graft survival was seen with recurrent and de novo FSGS, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, and HUS/TTP.