Transplantation With APOL1 Risk Variant Kidney May Be Associated With Lifetime Risk for Recurrence of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Transplant Proc. 2019 Nov;51(9):3077-3079. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2019.04.056. Epub 2019 Jul 16.


The APOL1 gene mutation is increasingly recognized as an import factor in living kidney donation. APOL1 gene variants prevalent in the African American population have been associated with increased risk of glomerulopathy. Shorter allograft survival is seen in transplants from donors who had 2 risk APOL1 gene alleles. In the early posttransplant period, kidneys with 2 risk alleles of APOL1 had higher risk of graft loss compared to 1 or 0 risk alleles, but by year 4 of transplant it was almost similar. The authors have suggested that recipients of kidney transplants with 2 risk alleles may only be at risk for kidney failure during the early initial period. We present here a case of a patient with 2 risk APOL1 alleles who received renal transplant from her identical twin and developed glomerulopathy 18 years after the transplant. No case of APOL1-associated recurrent glomerulonephritis has been described in a recipient after 10 years. This suggests that the risk of recurrence of glomerulopathy in allograft transplants with 2 risk allele variants may not be limited to the initial post-transplant period; rather, it may be a lifetime risk.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Alleles
  • Apolipoprotein L1 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Isogeneic
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics*


  • APOL1 protein, human
  • Apolipoprotein L1