Combination Treatment With Plasmapheresis and Rituximab for Recurrent Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis After Renal Transplantation


  • This article loaded on 12 November 2010 replaces the previous version originally published online, and several critical content corrections have been made.

Dr. George Tsagalis, Areos 9, Maroussi Attikis, Athens 151 22, Greece. E-mail:


Therapy for recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in the renal allograft is largely based on case reports. The use of plasmapheresis alone (based on its effectiveness in children) appears less effective in adults, reaching a response rate of <40%. Recently, rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal chimeric antibody, showed promising results as rescue therapy in plasmapheresis-resistant recurrent FSGS. However, following rituximab administration, response is variable, often slow and consequently overlooked. We report a series of four cases of recurrent FSGS following renal transplantation successfully treated with a combination of plasmapheresis and rituximab. Complete remission of proteinuria occurred in two and partial remission in the other two patients whereas renal function improved or remained stable. During treatment and the follow-up period (18–60 months) no severe infectious complications were observed. Our data suggest that the combination of plasmapheresis and rituximab is an acceptable treatment in patients with post-transplantation recurrent FSGS.