Congenital nephrotic syndrome and recurrence of proteinuria after renal transplantation

Pediatr Nephrol. 2014 Dec;29(12):2309-17. doi: 10.1007/s00467-014-2781-z. Epub 2014 Mar 29.


Renal transplantation (RTx) is the only curative treatment for most cases of congenital and infantile nephrotic syndrome (NS) caused by genetic defects in glomerular podocyte proteins. The outcome of RTx in these children is usually excellent, with no recurrence of nephrotic syndrome. A subgroup of patients with the Finnish type of congenital nephrosis (CNF), shows, however, a clear risk for post-RTx proteinuria. Most of these patients have a homozygous truncating mutation (Fin-major mutation) in the nephrin gene (NPHS1), leading to total absence of the major podocyte protein, nephrin. After RTx, these patients develop anti-nephrin antibodies resulting in nephrotic range proteinuria. Plasma exchange combined with cyclophosphamide and anti-CD20 antibodies has proved to be successful therapy for these episodes. NS recurrence has also occurred in a few patients with mutations in the podocin gene (NPHS2). No anti-podocin antibodies have been detectable, and the pathophysiology of the recurrence remains open. While most of these episodes have resolved, the optimal therapy remains to be determined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / genetics
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / surgery*
  • Proteinuria / immunology*
  • Recurrence


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Membrane Proteins
  • nephrin

Supplementary concepts

  • Nephrosis, congenital