Current thinking on chronic renal allograft rejection: issues, concerns, and recommendations from a 1997 roundtable discussion

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Jan;33(1):150-60. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(99)70273-8.


Chronic rejection accounts for most renal allograft losses after the first year posttransplantation. On March 24 and 25, 1997, a roundtable of five transplant surgeons, two nephrologists, and one pathologist assembled in Dallas, Texas, to review critical issues surrounding chronic renal allograft rejection. This article summarizes the presentations and relevant discussions of this meeting regarding the cause of chronic rejection, clinical diagnoses, risk factors, future prospects for intervention strategies, and general recommendations for the transplant community. Growing evidence indicates that chronic rejection is the aggregate sum of irreversible immunologic and nonimmunologic injuries to the renal graft over time. A history of acute rejection episodes and inadequate immunosuppression, likely attributable to inconsistent cyclosporine exposure or poor patient compliance, are among the most recognizable immunologic risk factors for chronic rejection. Donor organ quality, delayed graft function, and other donor and recipient variables leading to reduced nephron mass are nonimmunologic factors that contribute to the progressive deterioration of renal graft function. Clinical management of renal transplant recipients should incorporate both immunologic- and nonimmunologic-based intervention strategies aimed at minimizing risk factors to thwart the progression of chronic rejection and improve long-term allograft and patient survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology
  • Kidney Transplantation / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Transplantation, Homologous