Kidney Transplant Recipients With Primary Membranous Glomerulonephritis Have a Higher Risk of Acute Rejection Compared With Other Primary Glomerulonephritides

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Despite being the leading cause of graft failure, there is a lack of published data about the rates of rejection in kidney transplant patients with glomerulonephritis as the cause of end-stage renal disease.


We examined all consecutive adult (>18 years) renal transplant recipients with biopsy-proven native renal glomerular disease who underwent kidney transplant between 1994 and 2013. Glomerulonephritis groups included were IgA nephropathy (IgAN) (N = 306), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) (N = 298), membranous nephropathy (MN) (N = 81), and lupus nephritis (LN) (N = 177).


In the total cohort of 862 patients, 363 patients had an episode of acute rejection during the follow-up period of 19 years (incidence rate of 7.2% per year). Forty-five of 81 patients with MN had an episode of acute rejection during the follow-up period. Patients with MN had significantly higher incidence of acute rejection (12.1 per 100 person years, P < 0.05) in comparison to IgAN (7.2 per 100 person years), FSGS (7.4 per 100 person years), and LN (7.9 per 100 person years). Patients with MN had 1.9 times higher risk of developing acute rejection after transplant in comparison to IgAN (P < 0.005). In patients with MN, 33 of 45 (73.3%) rejection events were acute cellular rejection, 8 (17.8%) of 45 were acute antibody-mediated rejection and 6 of 45 (13.3%) were combined cellular and antibody-mediated acute rejection. Despite higher rates of acute rejection, 10-year allograft survival was similar in all subgroups.


Patients with MN have higher incidence of acute rejection after kidney transplant but have similar 10-year allograft survival in comparison to the other glomerular diseases like IgAN, FSGS, and LN.

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