Background: We analysed risk factors to predict the recurrence of nephrotic syndrome and the therapeutic efficacy of plasmapheresis combined with oral cyclophosphamide (PE+CPM) in early recurrent nephrotic syndrome after transplantation in children with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).
Methods: Medical records after 1990 of 16 children with biopsy-proven idiopathic FSGS and renal transplantation before the age of 18 years were reviewed.
Results: Early recurrence of nephrotic syndrome developed in six cases (37. 5%). While early kidney graft biopsies, performed within the first week after the onset of recurrence, revealed diffuse effacement of foot process only, late biopsies contained segmentally sclerosed glomeruli as well. Among several possible risk factors, the mean duration from onset of original nephrotic syndrome to development of end-stage renal disease was shorter in the recurrent group (P=0.045) and the percentage of globally sclerosed glomeruli was higher in the non-recurrent group (P=0.001). PE+CPM therapy resulted in complete remission of nephrotic syndrome if it was started early and if there was no evidence of accompanying acute rejection.
Conclusion: These results support more liberal use of living-related donors for renal transplantation of children with FSGS and ESRD, considering the shortage of cadaveric donors in our society and relatively good efficacy of the early and intensive PE+CPM therapy for early recurrent nephrotic syndrome.