Recurrent glomerulonephritis after kidney transplantation

Am J Transplant. 2006 Nov;6(11):2535-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2006.01502.x. Epub 2006 Aug 25.


Thirty to fifty percent of kidney transplant recipients have glomerular diseases as the underlying causes of end-stage renal failure. While recurrence of glomerulonephritis is an important cause of late renal allograft failure, the risk factors for recurrence are largely unknown or imprecise and prediction remains difficult. Recurrent disease usually presents with similar manifestations as the native disease. With regard to treatment of recurrent glomerular disease in the renal allograft, plasma exchange may be effective in reducing proteinuria in patients with early recurrence of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis, but immunosuppressive therapy is generally ineffective in the prevention or treatment of recurrent disease. General supportive measures including strict blood pressure control and inhibition or blockade of the rennin-angiotensin pathway are helpful in retarding the rate of deterioration in renal allograft function. Despite the risk of recurrence, kidney transplantation following primary glomerulonephritides enjoys graft and patient survival rates comparable to other causes of end-stage renal failure. With a few exceptions, living related renal transplantation is not contraindicated in view of the favorable outcome and the donor shortage. This review discusses commonly encountered recurrent glomerulonephritides, with special emphasis on the influence of post-transplant prophylactic immunosuppression and emerging treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Nephropathies / surgery
  • Glomerulonephritis / classification
  • Glomerulonephritis / epidemiology
  • Glomerulonephritis / surgery*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / surgery
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative / surgery
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / surgery
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Recurrence