Rituximab failed to improve nephrotic syndrome in renal transplant patients with recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Am J Transplant. 2008 Jan;8(1):222-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.02021.x. Epub 2007 Nov 2.


Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) recurs in 30% of patients with FSGS receiving a first renal transplant and in over 80% of patients receiving a second transplant after a recurrence. Recurrence often leads to graft failure. The pathogenesis remains unknown and may involve a circulating permeability factor that initiates injury to the glomerular capillary. There are anecdotal reports of pediatric patients with posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) and recurrent FSGS who have had remission of proteinuria after treatment with rituximab. These observations have prompted speculation that B cells may play a role in the pathogenesis of recurrent FSGS. We report four consecutive adult patients with early recurrent FSGS refractory or dependent on plasmapheresis who received rituximab (total dose 2000-4200 mg). None of the patients treated with rituximab achieved remission in proteinuria, and one patient experienced early graft loss. In these four adult renal transplant patients with recurrent FSGS, rituximab failed to diminish proteinuria.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / complications
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / etiology*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / therapy*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Rejection / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / complications*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / therapy
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Recurrence
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Rituximab