Outcome of Plasma Exchange Therapy in Thrombotic Microangiopathy After Renal Transplantation

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Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) in renal transplant recipients is commonly associated with calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs), though several factors such as vascular rejection, viral infections and other drugs may play a contributory role. We report a series of 29 patients with TMA, all of whom were on CNIs. Though plasma exchange (PEx) is widely used to treat TMA, therapeutic guidelines are not well defined. All our patients were treated with PEx and discontinuation of CNIs. Thrombotic microangiopathy was diagnosed at a median of 7 days post-transplant. The mean decrease in Hgb and platelets during TMA was 66% and 64%, respectively, and peak serum creatinine during TMA was 7.4 ± 2.9 mg%. Mean duration of PEx therapy was 8.5 (range 5–23) days. Recovery of platelet count to 150K/mcL and Hgb to 8–10 g/dL were used as endpoints for PEx. Twenty-three/29 (80%) patients recovered graft function after PEx. Twenty/23 (87%) patients who recovered were placed back on CNl. Nineteen/20 (95%) patients tolerated reinstitution of CNl without recurrence of TMA. In post-transplant TMA, PEx was associated with a graft salvage rate of 80%, reversal of hematological changes can be used as the endpoint for PEx therapy and CNl can be reintroduced without risk of recurrence in the majority of patients

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