Delayed renal failure with extensive mesangiolysis following bone marrow transplantation

Kidney Int. 1989 Jun;35(6):1336-44. doi: 10.1038/ki.1989.132.


Within two years we have had the opportunity of observing seven leukemic children who were referred to our Pediatric Nephrology Unit for delayed renal failure following bone marrow transplantation (BMT). These children (3 to 12 years old), six with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and one with acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL), underwent BMT (4 autologous BMT, 3 allogeneic BMT) after the first remission in two, and after the second remission in five. Preparative regimen for BMT included cyclosphosphamide in three, cyclosphosphamide, vepeside and cytosine A in four, and a total body irradiation in a single dose of 10 grays (1000 R) in all of them. Three children were treated immediately after grafting with low dose cyclosporine for four to six months. Five to 10 months after BMT, four patients developed a hemolytic uremic syndrome with severe hypertension. The remaining three were found to have isolated renal insufficiency several months post-BMT. In the seven patients, renal biopsy showed a uniform pattern of severe glomerular involvement characterized by extensive lesions of mesangiolysis associated with severe arteriolonecrosis. A repeat biopsy performed one year later, in two patients showed severe scarring of the renal parenchyma with minor lesions of mesangiolysis. The similarity of the pathologic features observed suggests that the same mechanism might have been operative in the seven patients. It is very likely that the nephropathy is related to total body irradiation enhanced by chemotherapy. We conclude that current treatments of high risk leukemia might become a new cause of chronic renal failure. Further investigations are needed to know the exact incidence of this complication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclosporins / adverse effects
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / therapy
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / therapy
  • Transplantation, Autologous / adverse effects
  • Transplantation, Homologous / adverse effects


  • Cyclosporins