Recurrence of SLE in transplanted kidneys: a follow-up transplant biopsy study

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1992;7(11):1116-23.


Renal transplant biopsies were obtained from 16 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 6 months to 11 years post-transplant. Eight biopsies were taken on clinical grounds while eight were elective. Histopathological findings suggesting recurrent lupus nephritis were found in seven biopsies, five of which were taken on clinical indication. By light-microscopy, five graft biopsies showed proliferative glomerulopathy and two glomerulosclerosis. Immunofluorescence was positive for IgM and C3 in a finely granular pattern in all biopsies, for C1q in three, but for IgG in only two. Electron-dense deposits were found in all seven biopsies with predominantly subendothelial location. All but one patient had clinical signs of renal involvement, but only three had extrarenal symptoms and three had serological signs of active SLE. Upon increased immunosuppressive therapy, renal and serological signs improved but one graft was later lost due to recurrent SLE nephritis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / pathology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Nephritis / etiology
  • Lupus Nephritis / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence