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Transplantation. 1999 Sep 15;68(5):623-7.

The impact of recurrent glomerulonephritis on graft survival in recipients of human histocompatibility leucocyte antigen-identical living related donor grafts.

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Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Graft loss due to rejection is uncommon after human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-identical living related donor (LRD) transplantation, resulting in an excellent long-term graft survival. Data on the impact of recurrence of the original disease on graft survival after LRD transplantation are scarce.


We have studied the influence of recurrent glomerulonephritis in adult recipients of a human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-identical LRD graft transplanted in our center in the period from 1968 to 1996. To that end, the data of 33 patients with proven or suspected primary glomerulonephritis and 27 patients with nonglomerular diseases were analyzed.


The patient survival was similar in both groups at 5, 10, and 20 years. The functional graft survival, i.e., graft survival after censoring for death, was, however, significantly worse for patients with glomerulonephritis as underlying disease (P<0.01). At 5 years graft survival was 100% vs. 88%, at 10 years 100% vs. 70%, and at 20 years 100% vs. 63%, respectively. Thus none of the patients with nonglomerular diseases lost a graft, whereas eight grafts were lost in the group of patients with glomerulonephritis. The main cause of graft loss in this patient group was recurrent glomerulonephritis (n=5), whereas chronic vascular rejection caused graft loss in two patients and occlusion of a transplant artery was the cause in one. A clinically significant proteinuria was detected in six more patients in the glomerulonephritis group: a recurrent glomerulonephritis was diagnosed in four patients and in two patients there was no biopsy. The cumulative incidence of recurrence was as high as 45% at 12 years after transplantation.


Recipients of a human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-identical LRD kidney have a good prognosis with respect to graft survival. After censoring for death, recurrent glomerulonephritis is the main cause of graft failure in these patients and the impact of recurrent disease on graft survival will become even more prominent with longer follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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