Primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis Recurrence After Pediatric Renal Transplantation

Exp Clin Transplant. 2022 Mar;20(Suppl 1):55-60. doi: 10.6002/ect.MESOT2021.O24.


Objectives: Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis recurrence after renal transplant occurs frequently in pediatric patients and is associated with poor graft survival when patients reach adulthood. We investigated recurrence rates, recurrence risk factors, management strategies, and long-term graft function among pediatric renal transplant recipients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis as primary disease.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated medical records of 34 pediatric patients with primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis who had undergone renal transplant between 2004 and 2019 at our center. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis recurrence was diagnosed by the presence of nephrotic range proteinuria after transplant and confirmed by graft biopsy. Preoperative prophylactic plasma exchange was administered to pediatric renal transplant recipients with primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Plasma exchange was also used to treat focal segmental glomerulosclerosis recurrence, with rituximab added if the patient did not respond to plasma exchange.

Results: All patients (male-to-female ratio of 19:15) in our group underwent renal transplant. Mean patient age at the time of transplant was 12.72 ± 5.46 years. Twenty-nine patients received living- related donor allografts (85.3%) and 5 received organs from deceased donors (14.7%). We identified focal segmental glomerulosclerosis recurrence in 5 recipients (14.7%). Time from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis diagnosis to end-stage renal disease and duration of dialysis were shorter in the recurrence group than in the nonrecurrence group (48.4 months [range, 2-90 mo] vs 65.1 months [range, 8-123 mo] and 1.41 ± 0.82 vs 3.18 ± 1.88 years, respectively; P < .05). Donor type and transplant age were similar in both groups. Of those with recurrence who had received plasma exchange and rituximab, 3 patients (75%) had complete remission and 1 patient (25%) had partial remission.

Conclusions: Prophylactic plasma exchange and the combined plasma exchange-rituximab regimen for treatment of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis recurrence resulted in low recurrence and good remission rates in our pediatric cohort.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / diagnosis
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / methods
  • Living Donors
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Rituximab