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Transplantation. 2001 Mar 15;71(5):628-33.

Effect of pre-and postoperative plasmapheresis on posttransplant recurrence of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in children.

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Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Kidney Center, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Japan.



Posttransplant recurrence is frequent in patients who received renal transplantation for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The recurrence has been ascribed to a circulating permeability factor or factors. We have used plasmapheresis (PP) to treat recurrent FSGS and also studied whether preoperative PP is effective in preventing recurrence of FSGS.


We retrospectively analyzed 21 allografts of 20 patients with nephrotic syndrome and biopsyproven FSGS. They were divided into two groups depending on whether they had prophylactic PP; a prophylactic (n=15) and a nonprophylactic group (n=6). PP was performed two to three times prophylactically and therapeutically until proteinuria was markedly reduced. In each session, 50-75 ml/kg of the patient's plasma was exchanged with 5-8% albumin.


FSGS recurred in 9 of 21 allografts, 4 of 6 in the nonprophylactic group, and 5 of 15 in the prophylactic group. Therapeutic PP was performed in seven of nine recurrent patients without definite adverse effect, with satisfactory results except in one patient. Children lost proteinuria after 6 to > 100 sessions of PP and the number correlated with the pretreatment level of proteinuria. The mean follow-up periods were 62.7 and 41.6 months for the prophylactic and nonprophylactic groups, respectively. At the last follow-up, 66.7% of relapsing and 81.8% of nonrelapsing patients had a functioning graft.


PP appears to be effective for the prevention and treatment of posttransplant recurrence of FSGS, although further consideration of cost/benefit and risks is required before a conclusive judgement can be made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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