Recurrence of secondary glomerular disease after renal transplantation.
The risk of a posttransplant recurrence of secondary glomerulonephritis (GN) is quite variable. Histologic recurrence is frequent in lupus nephritis, but the lesions are rarely severe and usually do not impair the long-term graft outcome. Patients with Henoch-Schonlein nephritis have graft survival similar to that of other renal diseases, although recurrent Henoch-Schonlein nephritis with extensive crescents has a poor prognosis. Amyloid light-chain amyloidosis recurs frequently in renal allografts but it rarely causes graft failure. Amyloidosis secondary to chronic inflammation may also recur, but this is extremely rare in patients with Behcet's disease or in those with familial Mediterranean fever, when the latter are treated with colchicine. Double organ transplantation (liver/kidney; heart/kidney), chemotherapy, and autologous stem cell transplantation may be considered in particular cases of amyloidosis, such as hereditary amyloidosis or multiple myeloma. There is little experience with renal transplantation in light-chain deposition disease, fibrillary/immunotactoid GN, or mixed cryoglobulinemic nephritis but successful cases have been reported. Diabetic nephropathy often recurs but usually only after many years. Recurrence in patients with small vessel vasculitis is unpredictable but can cause graft failure. However, in spite of recurrence, patient and graft survival rates are similar in patients with small vessel vasculitis compared with those with other renal diseases. Many secondary forms of GN no longer represent a potential contraindication to renal transplantation. The main issues in transplantation of patients with secondary GN are the infectious, cardiovascular, or hepatic complications associated with the original disease or its treatment.
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