We evaluated 52 renal grafts transplanted into 41 patients with a pretransplantation diagnosis of Alport's syndrome. Overall 1-, 5-, and 10-year patient and graft survival rates were 95.1%, 90.2%, and 80.5% and 86.8%, 66%, and 45.3%, respectively. Although 14% of renal graft biopsy specimens examined with immunofluorescent microscopy showed linear glomerular basement membrane (GBM) immunoglobulin G deposits, only 1 of 41 patients (2.4%) or 52 grafts (1.9%) developed posttransplantation anti-GBM disease. The incidence of anti-GBM disease was 3.1% (1 of 32 patients) in a subgroup of male transplant recipients. Our analysis suggests that the incidence of anti-GBM disease in transplant recipients with Alport's syndrome is less than previously reported. In addition, it does not appear that HLA-DR alleles, which predispose to the development of anti-GBM disease in native kidneys, have a role in transplant recipients with Alport's syndrome posttransplantation. However, immunosuppression level may have a pathophysiological role in the development of anti-GBM disease. The majority of grafts in transplant recipients with Alport's syndrome failed because of chronic allograft nephropathy (69% of grafts) and acute rejection (22% of grafts). A history of previous acute rejection was the only factor that significantly affected graft outcome.
Copyright 2002 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.