Background: Because of concerns of increased risk of graft loss with recurrent disease, living donor (LD) transplantation in children with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) has been controversial.
Methods: The North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS) database from January 1987 to January 2000 was examined to determine differences in demographics, treatment, and outcomes in children with FSGS compared with other renal diseases.
Results: Data on 6484 children, 752 (11.6%) with FSGS, demonstrated that FSGS patients were more likely to be older and black, and were less likely to receive either pre-emptive or LD transplant (P < 0.001). No differences existed in human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) matching or immunosuppression regimens. Acute tubular necrosis occurred in more FSGS patients following LD (11.8 vs. 4.6%) or cadaveric (CD; 27.9 vs. 16.3%) transplants (P < 0.001). Graft survival was worse for LD FSGS patients (5 years 69%) compared with no FSGS (82%, P < 0.001) and was not significantly different than CD graft survival in the FSGS (60%) and No FSGS groups (67%). The LD to CD ratios of relative risk of graft failure were higher in FSGS patients (test for interaction, P = 0.01). Recurrence of original disease was the only cause of graft failure that differed between groups (P < 0.001). A greater percentage of LD FSGS graft failures was attributed to recurrence (P = 0.06).
Conclusions: The impact of FSGS on graft survival in children is greatest in LD transplants, resulting in loss of expected LD graft survival advantage. The rationale for LD grafts in children with FSGS should be based on factors other than better outcomes typically associated with LD transplantation.