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The information in the medical literature on the incidence of recurrence of type I membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) after renal transplantation and its impact on graft survival is limited because most data are derived from case reports or from studies involving a small number of patients.We analyzed the data from our transplant center. Among 1097 adult patients receiving their first allograft between 1977 and 1994, we identified 32 patients with type I MPGN.A recurrence was detected in 9 of the 27 recipients of a first cadaveric graft (33%). The cumulative incidence reached 48% at 4 years after transplantation when patients with graft failure from other causes were censored. All patients with recurrent MPGN had clinically significant proteinuria (>1 g/24 hr) that was first observed at a median time of 20 months (range, 1.5-42 months) after transplantation. Graft survival was significantly worse in patients with recurrence as compared with patients without recurrence. Mean duration of graft survival after the diagnosis of recurrence was 40 months. We could not detect any clinical characteristics of patients or donors that were associated with recurrent disease. However, an increased risk of recurrence was observed in patients with the HLA haplotype B8DR3. Four patients received an HLA-identical graft from a living related donor. Recurrence occurred in three patients (75%), with ensuing graft loss in two. The only patient with a haploidentical living related graft did not have a recurrence. Five patients with a recurrence in the first graft received a second transplant. Recurrence was observed in four of these patients (80%).Type I MPGN recurred after renal transplantation in half of the patients. The incidence may be even higher in recipients of an identical living related donor graft and in patients receiving a second transplant after having experienced a recurrence in their first graft. Recurrence of type I MPGN has a detrimental effect on graft survival.