Successful retransplantation of a kidney allograft affected by thrombotic microangiopathy into a second transplant recipient

Am J Kidney Dis. 2008 Sep;52(3):591-4. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2008.03.037. Epub 2008 Jun 13.


The donor organ shortage has compelled transplant centers to use organs from nontraditional sources. One example is the reuse of a previously transplanted organ, such as a kidney or liver retrieved from a brain-dead allograft recipient. For the first time, we reused a previously transplanted kidney that experienced intractable recurrent thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) from a living allograft recipient. Within a few weeks posttransplantation, a deceased kidney allograft recipient developed intractable severe recurrent idiopathic TMA in the allograft despite intensive plasma exchanges and steroid and rituximab therapy. This required nephrectomy to cure TMA. The index recipient was believed to have a well-functioning allograft despite TMA (serum creatinine, 1.36 mg/dL [120 micromol/L]) and microalbuminuria with albumin of 1.2 g/dL [12 g/L]), and it appeared mildly damaged on biopsy examination. After donor and recipient informed consents were obtained and after approval of the French Agency of Biomedicine, the TMA allograft was reused and transplanted into a recipient whose original kidney disease was polycystic kidney disease. The retransplantation was uneventful, and at 6 months posttransplantation, the ultimate recipient's serum creatinine level was 1.06 mg/L (97 micromol/L) and albuminuria was 0.5 g/dL (5 g/L). A routine kidney biopsy showed mild glomerular lesions. After allograft nephrectomy, the donor's hematologic TMA symptoms dissipated within 10 days. We conclude that a kidney allograft with TMA recurrence can be successfully retransplanted into another recipient with excellent kidney function while still curing the first recipient of recurrent TMA. This might increase the number of kidney allografts from extended criteria donors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy*
  • Recurrence
  • Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Thrombosis / surgery*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods*
  • Transplantation, Homologous