• rituximab;
  • recurrence of nephrotic syndrome;
  • pediatric transplantation

Chaudhuri A, Kambham N, Sutherland S, Grimm P, Alexander S, Concepcion W, Sarwal M, Wong C. Rituximab treatment for recurrence of nephrotic syndrome in a pediatric patient after renal transplantation for congenital nephrotic syndrome of Finnish type.

Abstract:  Congenital nephrotic syndrome (CNS) of the Finnish type due to mutation in the NPHS-1 gene results in massive proteinuria due to structural abnormality in the glomerular slit diaphragm, and is usually refractory to immunosuppressive therapy. Patients eventually require bilateral nephrectomy and renal replacement therapy, with transplantation being the ultimate goal. Post-transplant recurrence of nephrotic syndrome occurs in about 25% of children and is thought to be immune-mediated secondary to antibodies formed against the nephrin protein in renal allograft. Conventional therapy with calcineurin inhibitors (CNI), cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids with or without plasmapheresis often fails to achieve remission resulting in graft loss in 12-16%. There is limited experience with use of rituximab (RTX) in pediatric organ transplant recipients. We report the first case of post-transplant recurrence of nephrotic syndrome in a 4-yr-old child with CNS due to NPHS-1 mutation in whom CNI, corticosteroid and cyclophosphamide therapy was unsuccessful, but who achieved remission after depletion of B cells with RTX, associated with a decrease in the level of anti-nephrin antibodies. The child remains in remission 5 yr following treatment. Our experience suggests that activated B cells may play a pivotal role in the recurrence of nephrosis after renal transplantation in children with CNS.