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Transplant Proc. 2006 Oct;38(8):2659-60.

Early recurrence of nephrotic syndrome (immunoglobulin m nephropathy) after renal transplantation successfully treated with combinations of plasma exchanges, immunoglobulin, and rituximab.

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Department of Pediatrics, The Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


In contrast to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which is well known to recur early in a renal graft, there are only few cases described with recurrence of immunoglobulin M (IgM) nephropathy after transplantation. We herein describe a patient with early recurrence of IgM nephropathy. A 15-year-old boy with nephrotic syndrome (IgM nephropathy) proceeding to end-stage renal disease was on dialysis before living related renal transplantation. Native kidneys were not removed. Standard immunosuppression including steroids, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate mofetil yielded initially good graft function with the s-creatinine falling to 73 micromol/L. Proteinuria was present on day 1, increasing to 20 g/L after 3 days. S-creatinine increased to 158 micromol/L and urine production diminished. A graft biopsy showed no rejection or glomerulopathy but protein vacuoles were seen within tubular cells indicating massive proteinuria. Treatment with plasma exchanges, immunoglobulin, and steroids was started. Hemodialysis was necessary. Proteinuria improved to 3.5 g/L, but s-creatinine continued to rise and a second graft biopsy showed vascular rejection (Banff type IIA). The patient was treated with antithymocyte globulin and further plasma exchanges. A single dose of rituximab was given. Five months after transplantation the s-creatinine was 67 micromol/L and there was no proteinuria. In this case early recurrence of nephrotic syndrome occurred on the first posttransplant day in combination with later occurring vascular rejection. Successful treatment included a combination of plasma exchanges, rituximab, immunoglobulin, and antithymocyte globulin.

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