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Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Apr;35(4):674-80.

Transplant glomerulopathy as a cause of late graft loss.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Palo Alto VAHCS and Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


Several pathophysiological processes contribute to chronic kidney transplant rejection. Among the most distinctive is transplant glomerulopathy, characterized by widening of the subendothelial space with accumulation of flocculent material and duplication of the basement membrane. The current study assessed the course of graft loss in patients with and without this form of injury. Twenty-five patients with prominent transplant glomerulopathy were identified from biopsies performed at a single center during 4 years. These patients were compared with control patients with a similar degree of renal dysfunction in whom biopsies showed chronic rejection without transplant glomerulopathy. Patients with transplant glomerulopathy showed an increased rate of graft loss after biopsy. Biopsies were performed longer after transplantation in these patients, however, than in control patients with an equal degree of graft dysfunction. Graft survival from the time of transplantation was therefore not different between the two groups. Morphological studies showed that transplant glomerulopathy was not associated with increased severity of chronic vascular injury characterized by arterial and arteriolar intimal thickening or hyalinosis. These findings show that transplant glomerulopathy may develop late after transplantation and separately from chronic vascular rejection. The appearance of transplant glomerulopathy on a biopsy specimen is followed by accelerated graft loss.

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