Leflunomide therapy for BK virus allograft nephropathy in pediatric and young adult kidney transplant recipients

Authors


Carlos E. Araya, MD, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, University of Florida Health Science Center, 1600 SW Archer Road, PO Box 100296, Gainesville, FL 32610-0296, USA
Tel.: 352 392 4434
Fax: 352 392 7107
E-mail: arayace@peds.ufl.edu

Abstract

Araya CE, Garin EH, Neiberger RE, Dharnidharka VR. Leflunomide therapy for BK virus allograft nephropathy in pediatric and young adult kidney transplant recipients.
Pediatr Transplantation 2010: 14: 145–150. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Abstract:  BKVAN affects about 5% of kidney transplant recipients and may lead to graft failure. Treatment for BKVAN is challenging. Leflunomide, an immunosuppressant with antiviral activity in vitro was used successfully in some adult patients but there are no reports of its use in pediatric patients. We present our experience with three kidney transplant recipients with BKVAN who received leflunomide. Three male patients aged 9, 12, and 20 yr developed BKVAN at 9, 12, and 2 months after a kidney transplant. Immunosuppression was reduced and cidofovir was administered in all patients 2–3 wk apart. Due to inability to travel to receive cidofovir in one, lack of reduction in BK viral load in the second, and rising serum creatinine despite cidofovir in the third patient, we discontinued cidofovir and initiated leflunomide. Teriflunomide target trough levels were 30–60 μg/mL. The patients received leflunomide for 27, 26, and 24 months, respectively. BK viral load decreased below 1000 DNA copies/mL in one and was undetectable in two patients after beginning leflunomide. All patients tolerated leflunomide without side effects. Leflunomide use in a select group of patients is well tolerated and may provide an alternative for treatment of BKVAN in pediatric patients.

Ancillary