Early Low-Grade Proteinuria: Causes, Short-Term Evolution and Long-Term Consequences in Renal Transplantation


*Corresponding author: Jean-Michel Halimi, halimi@med.univ-tours.fr


Proteinuria 1 year after transplantation is associated with poor renal outcome. It is unclear whether low-grade (<1 g/24 h) proteinuria earlier after transplantation and its short-term change affect long-term graft survival. The effects of proteinuria and its change on long-term graft survival were retrospectively assessed in 484 renal transplant recipients. One- and 3-month proteinuria correlated with donor age, donor cardiovascular death, prolonged cold and warm ischemia times and acute rejection. One- and 3-month proteinuria (per 0.1 g/24 h, hazard ratio (HR): 1.07 and 1.15, p < 0.0001)—especially low-grade proteinuria (HR: 1.20 and 1.26, p < 0.0001)—were powerful, independent predictors of graft loss. Its short-term reduction correlated with arterial pressure (AP) (the lower the 3-month diastolic and 12-month systolic AP, the lower the risk of increasing proteinuria during 1–3 months and 3–12 months periods, respectively: Odds ratio (OR) per 10 MmHg: 0.78, p = 0.01 and 0.85, respectively, p = 0.02), and was associated with decreased long-term graft loss (per 0.1 g/24 h: HR: 0.88 and 0.98, respectively, p < 0.0001), independently of initial proteinuria. Early low-grade proteinuria due to pre-transplant renal lesions, ischemia-reperfusion and immunologic injuries is a potent predictor of graft loss. Short-term reduction in proteinuria is associated with improved long-term graft survival.