The Remission of Post-Transplant Nephrotic Syndrome Clinicopathologic Characterization



Among 67 renal transplant recipients with nephrotic syndrome (NS), nine episodes were reversible in eight patients. Biopsies showed minimal-change disease (4), focal segmental membranous glomerulonephritis and acute glomerulitis (1), IgA nephropathy and acute glomerulitis (1) or thrombotic microangiopathy (1), and chronic transplant nephropathy with (1) or without acute glomerulitis (1). NS developed 1–4 months post transplant in the four patients with minimal-change disease, but later (33–151 months) in the others. At onset, serum creatinine was normal or elevated. Treatment included calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or both, together with routine antirejection therapy. Remission was achieved 4–12 months after onset, when renal function remained normal in four, improved in four, and worsened in one. At last follow-up, six patients still had remission and functional grafts. One lost graft to chronic transplant nephropathy while NS remained in remission. In the remaining patient, proteinuria, which was due to chronic transplant glomerulopathy unrelated to the initial minimal-change disease-associated NS, recurred 50 months post transplant. Remission of post-transplant NS is possible. It is often associated with minimal-change diseases and less frequently with other glomerular lesions, including acute glomerulitis. Reversible post-transplant NS does not have an adverse effect on the renal allografts.