Allograft failure in kidney transplant recipients with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis

Am J Kidney Dis. 2011 Feb;57(2):291-9. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2010.09.021. Epub 2011 Jan 6.


Background: Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis types I (MPGN-I) and II (MPGN-II) are rare diseases that in limited case series have been reported to recur frequently in kidney transplants and have a negative impact on allograft survival.

Study design: Retrospective database review.

Setting & participants: 189,211 primary kidney transplants in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database from September 1987 to May 2007.

Predictor or factor: MPGN-I (811 patients; 0.4%), MPGN-II (179 patients; 0.1%), other GN (58,129 patients; 30.7%), and all other diagnoses (130,092 patients; 68.7%).

Outcomes: Death-censored and non-death-censored allograft survival.

Results: Compared with controls, patients with MPGN-I and MPGN-II were significantly younger at the time of transplant, with a median age of 36 and 27 years compared with 44 years in the GN group and 46 years in all other disease groups, respectively (all P < 0.001). Mortality in patients with MPGN-I (8.8%) was significantly lower compared with the GN (11.3%; P = 0.02) and other disease (16.6%; P < 0.001) populations and lower in those with MPGN-II (9.5%) compared with the other disease (16.6%; P = 0.01) population. Graft failure rates were significantly higher in the MPGN-I (44.5%) cohort, but not in the MPGN-II (45.3%) cohort compared with the GN (38.0%) population (P < 0.001 and P = 0.05, respectively); neither MPGN cohort differed from the other disease (43.0%) population (P = 0.4 and P = 0.5). Overall, 10-year death-censored graft survival was similar for MPGN-I (56.2%) and MPGN-II (57.5%); both were significantly worse than for GN (65.2%; P < 0.001 and P = 0.003, respectively), and only MPGN-I was significantly worse than the other disease (60.0%) population (P = 0.004). Of allograft failures with a reported cause, disease recurrence was the primary cause in 36 (14.5%) MPGN-I and 18 (29.5%) MPGN-II transplant recipients and was significantly higher compared with 879 (6.6%) GN and 1,319 (4.4%) all-other-disease recurrence failures (P < 0.001).

Limitations: Limited pretransplant clinical and biopsy data.

Conclusions: A diagnosis of MPGN-I or MPGN-II has a significant negative impact on overall primary allograft survival compared with other forms of glomerulonephritis, whereas only MPGN-I has a significant, but modest, negative effect compared with other causes of end-stage renal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative / mortality
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative / surgery*
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplantation, Homologous