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Am J Transplant. 2007 Dec;7(12):2748-56. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Proteinuria after kidney transplantation, relationship to allograft histology and survival.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and Transplant Center, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA.


Proteinuria is associated with reduced kidney allograft survival. Herein we assessed the association between proteinuria, graft histology and survival. The cohort included 613 kidney allograft recipients who had proteinuria (measured) and surveillance biopsies at 1-year posttransplant. Proteinuria >150 mg/day was detected in 276 patients (45%) and in 182 of these, proteinuria was below 500. In >84% of patients even low levels of proteinuria were associated with albuminuria. Proteinuria was associated with the presence of graft glomerular pathology and the use of sirolimus. Eighty percent of patients with proteinuria >1500 mg/day had glomerular pathology on biopsy. However, lower levels of proteinuria were not associated with specific pathologies at 1 year. Compared to no sirolimus, sirolimus use was associated with higher prevalence of proteinuria (40% vs. 76%, p < 0.0001) and higher protein excretion (378 + 997 vs. 955 + 1986 mg/day, p < 0.0001). Proteinuria was associated with reduced graft survival (HR = 1.40, p = 0.001) independent of other risk factors including, glomerular pathology, graft function, recipient age and acute rejection. The predominant pathology in lost allografts (n = 57) was glomerular, particularly in patients with 1-year proteinuria >500. Thus, proteinuria, usually at low levels (<500 mg/day), is present in 45% of recipients at 1 year. However, and even low levels of proteinuria relate to poor graft survival. Proteinuria and glomerular pathology relate independently to survival.

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