Long-term outcome of renal transplantation in light-chain deposition disease

Am J Kidney Dis. 2004 Jan;43(1):147-53. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2003.09.020.


Background: Light-chain deposition disease (LCDD) is a monoclonal gammopathy characterized by nonamyloid deposition of light chain in various organs. A small number of kidney transplantations have been performed on LCDD patients in whom end-stage renal disease (ESRD) developed.

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical and histologic findings and outcome of 7 patients with LCDD who underwent kidney transplantation at our institution.

Results: Renal insufficiency, hypertension, and proteinuria were present in all 7 patients. Proteinuria level was greater than 3.5 g/24 h in 3 patients. Three patients had microscopic hematuria. Monoclonal protein was detected in the serum in 3 patients, urine in 5, and was undetectable in 2. Median age at presentation was 42.7 (range, 33 to 58) years. The most common renal biopsy findings were mesangial expansion, mesangial nodules, tubular basement membrane thickening, and tubular atrophy. Kappa light chain was detected in all 7 renal biopsy results. Five patients were on dialysis before transplantation. LCDD recurred after a median of 33.3 (range, 2 to 45) months in 5 of the 7 patients. One patient remains on dialysis, whereas the other 4 have died. One patient died of progression of multiple myeloma 3 months after kidney transplantation without evidence of recurrence. Only 1 patient remains recurrence free after 13 years with normal renal allograft function.

Conclusion: Although long-term benefits are occasionally seen, renal allograft survival is reduced significantly in LCDD patients. Kidney transplantation should not be an option for LCDD patients unless measures have been taken to reduce light chain production.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraproteinemias / complications
  • Paraproteinemias / pathology
  • Paraproteinemias / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains