Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase deficiency and renal allograft dysfunction

Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 May;37(5):E37. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(05)90001-2.


Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) deficiency is a rarely diagnosed cause of renal allograft dysfunction. We report the case of a 42-year-old man who presented in 1996 with idiopathic renal failure. Native kidney biopsy showed extensive microcrystalline interstitial nephritis. The patient subsequently underwent a living-related kidney transplant with excellent early graft function. During the next year, however, he had worsening allograft function, and allograft biopsy showed recurrent interstitial nephritis. Further chemical and spectroscopic analysis showed this lesion to be an annular microcrystalline nephritis consistent with APRT deficiency. This diagnosis was confirmed on erythrocyte assay. Treatment with allopurinol and a low-purine diet led to improvement and stabilization of renal function. APRT is a rare cause of renal allograft dysfunction requiring a high index of suspicion for early diagnosis and treatment. Increased physician awareness in the United States may hasten diagnosis and limit the morbidity associated with this disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenine Phosphoribosyltransferase / deficiency*
  • Adult
  • Allopurinol / therapeutic use
  • Antimetabolites / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / complications*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / etiology*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / physiopathology
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / surgery
  • Recurrence


  • Antimetabolites
  • Allopurinol
  • Adenine Phosphoribosyltransferase