Renal transplant outcomes in amyloidosis

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2021 Jan 25;36(2):355-365. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfaa293.


Background: Outcomes after renal transplantation have traditionally been poor in systemic amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis and systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis, with high mortality and frequent recurrent disease. We sought to compare outcomes with matched transplant recipients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and diabetic nephropathy (DN), and identify factors predictive of outcomes.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of 51 systemic AL and 48 systemic AA amyloidosis patients undergoing renal transplantation. Matched groups were generated by propensity score matching. Patient and death-censored allograft survival were compared via Kaplan-Meier survival analyses, and assessment of clinicopathological features predicting outcomes via Cox proportional hazard analyses.

Results: One-, 5- and 10-year death-censored unadjusted graft survival was, respectively, 94, 91 and 78% for AA amyloidosis, and 98, 93 and 93% for AL amyloidosis; median patient survival was 13.1 and 7.9 years, respectively. Patient survival in AL and AA amyloidosis was comparable to DN, but poorer than ADPKD [hazard ratio (HR) = 3.12 and 3.09, respectively; P < 0.001]. Death-censored allograft survival was comparable between all groups. In AL amyloidosis, mortality was predicted by interventricular septum at end diastole (IVSd) thickness >12 mm (HR = 26.58; P = 0.03), while survival was predicted by haematologic response (very good partial or complete response; HR = 0.07; P = 0.018). In AA amyloidosis, recurrent amyloid was associated with elevated serum amyloid A concentration but not with outcomes.

Conclusions: Renal transplantation outcomes for selected patients with AA and AL amyloidosis are comparable to those with DN. In AL amyloidosis, IVSd thickness and achievement of deep haematologic response pre-transplant profoundly impact patient survival.

Keywords: AA amyloidosis; AL amyloidosis; amyloidosis; recurrent disease; renal transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / complications*
  • Amyloidosis / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Homologous