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      Single-Dose Rituximab for Recurrent Glomerulonephritis Post-Renal Transplant

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          Abstract

          Background/Aims: Post-renal transplant recurrent glomerulonephritis (GN) contributes to allograft loss. Rituximab treatment has been used in a multidose strategy with variable efficacy and toxicity. We investigated a novel single-dose approach. Methods: A single center, retrospective, cohort study was conducted between January 1998 and April 2012 among renal allograft recipients with recurrent GN treated with rituximab (cases) or without (controls). The primary outcome was complete response (CR, urine protein/creatinine ratio (UP/C) <0.3). Secondary outcomes included partial response (PR >50% reduction in UP/C), response relapse, treatment-response by GN type, acute rejection incidence, time to graft loss, and infection incidence. Results: The median dose of rituximab was 200 mg per patient. Of 20 rituximab cases and 13 controls, CR was achieved in eight (40%) versus four (31%), respectively (p = 0.72). Three subjects in each group achieved PR (p = 0.66). Response relapse was similar between the two groups (p = 0.47). Significantly more subjects with recurrent membranous nephropathy (MN) achieved CR with rituximab treatment (p = 0.029). Acute rejection was lower in the rituximab group versus controls (n = 0 vs. 4; p = 0.046). The mean time to graft loss was much later in the rituximab group (35 months, (95% CI 33-37)) versus controls (29 months, (95% CI 24-35)) at 36 months (p = 0.04). There was no infection increase in rituximab-treated subjects (p = 0.16). Conclusion: Single-dose rituximab for treatment of recurrent GN was associated with less subsequent rejection and longer time to graft loss without increased infection, but was no more effective than regimens not using rituximab at 36-months except those with recurrent membranous GN.

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          Most cited references 26

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          The Banff 97 working classification of renal allograft pathology.

          Standardization of renal allograft biopsy interpretation is necessary to guide therapy and to establish an objective end point for clinical trials. This manuscript describes a classification, Banff 97, developed by investigators using the Banff Schema and the Collaborative Clinical Trials in Transplantation (CCTT) modification for diagnosis of renal allograft pathology. Banff 97 grew from an international consensus discussion begun at Banff and continued via the Internet. This schema developed from (a) analysis of data using the Banff classification, (b) publication of and experience with the CCTT modification, (c) international conferences, and (d) data from recent studies on impact of vasculitis on transplant outcome. Semiquantitative lesion scoring continues to focus on tubulitis and arteritis but includes a minimum threshold for interstitial inflammation. Banff 97 defines "types" of acute/active rejection. Type I is tubulointerstitial rejection without arteritis. Type II is vascular rejection with intimal arteritis, and type III is severe rejection with transmural arterial changes. Biopsies with only mild inflammation are graded as "borderline/suspicious for rejection." Chronic/sclerosing allograft changes are graded based on severity of tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis. Antibody-mediated rejection, hyperacute or accelerated acute in presentation, is also categorized, as are other significant allograft findings. The Banff 97 working classification refines earlier schemas and represents input from two classifications most widely used in clinical rejection trials and in clinical practice worldwide. Major changes include the following: rejection with vasculitis is separated from tubulointerstitial rejection; severe rejection requires transmural changes in arteries; "borderline" rejection can only be interpreted in a clinical context; antibody-mediated rejection is further defined, and lesion scoring focuses on most severely involved structures. Criteria for specimen adequacy have also been modified. Banff 97 represents a significant refinement of allograft assessment, developed via international consensus discussions.
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            Risk of renal allograft loss from recurrent glomerulonephritis.

            Recurrent glomerulonephritis is a known cause of renal allograft loss; however, the incidence of this complication is poorly defined. We determined the incidence, timing, and relative importance of allograft loss due to the recurrence of glomerulonephritis. A total of 1505 patients with biopsy-proved glomerulonephritis received a primary renal transplant in Australia from 1988 through 1997. Recurrence was confirmed by renal biopsy. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the 10-year incidence of allograft failure due to recurrent glomerulonephritis, and this incidence was compared with the incidence of acute rejection, chronic rejection, and death with a functioning allograft. Characteristics of the recipients and donors were examined as potential predictors of recurrence. Allograft loss due to the recurrence of glomerulonephritis occurred in 52 recipients, with a 10-year incidence of 8.4 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 5.9 to 12.0). The type of glomerulonephritis, the sex of the recipient, and the peak level of panel-reactive antibodies were independent predictors of the risk of recurrence. Recurrence was the third most frequent cause of allograft loss at 10 years, after chronic rejection and death with a functioning allograft. Despite the effect of recurrence, the overall 10-year incidence of allograft loss was similar among transplant recipients with biopsy-proved glomerulonephritis and among those with other causes of renal failure (45.4 percent [95 percent confidence interval, 40.9 to 50.2] vs. 45.8 percent [95 percent confidence interval, 42.3 to 49.3], P=0.09). Recurrence is an important cause of allograft loss for those with renal failure due to glomerulonephritis. No risk factors for recurrence were identified that warrant altering the approach to transplantation. However, accurate estimates of risk can now be provided to potential recipients of renal allografts.
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              Rituximab in steroid-dependent or frequently relapsing idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.

              The outcome of steroid-dependent or frequently relapsing nephrotic syndrome of minimal change disease (MCD), mesangial proliferative GN (MesGN), or FSGS may be poor and with major treatment toxicity. This academic, multicenter, off-on trial (ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT00981838) primarily evaluated the effects of rituximab therapy followed by immunosuppression withdrawal on disease recurrence in 10 children and 20 adults with MCD/MesGN (n=22) or FSGS who had suffered ≥2 recurrences over the previous year and were in steroid-induced remission for ≥1 month. Participants received one dose (n=28) or two doses of rituximab (375 mg/m(2) intravenously). At 1 year, all patients were in remission: 18 were treatment-free and 15 never relapsed. Compared with the year before rituximab treatment, total relapses decreased from 88 to 22 and the per-patient median number of relapses decreased from 2.5 (interquartile range [IQR], 2-4) to 0.5 (IQR, 0-1; P<0.001) during 1 year of follow-up. Reduction was significant across subgroups (children, adults, MCD/MesGN, and FSGS; P<0.01). After rituximab, the per-patient steroid maintenance median dose decreased from 0.27 mg/kg (IQR, 0.19-0.60) to 0 mg/kg (IQR, 0-0.23) (P<0.001), and the median cumulative dose to achieve relapse remission decreased from 19.5 mg/kg (IQR, 13.0-29.2) to 0.5 mg/kg (IQR, 0-9.4) (P<0.001). Furthermore, the mean estimated GFR increased from 111.3±25.7 to 121.8±29.2 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (P=0.01), with the largest increases in children and in FSGS subgroups. The mean height z score slope stabilized in children (P<0.01). Treatment was well tolerated. Rituximab effectively and safely prevented recurrences and reduced the need for immunosuppression in steroid-dependent or frequently relapsing nephrotic syndrome, and halted disease-associated growth deficit in children.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                AJN
                Am J Nephrol
                10.1159/issn.0250-8095
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                0250-8095
                1421-9670
                2015
                February 2015
                24 January 2015
                : 41
                : 1
                : 37-47
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Pharmacy, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and bRenal Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Mo., USA
                Author notes
                *Daniel C. Brennan, MD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Transplant Nephrology, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 4104 Queeny Tower, One Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110 (USA), E-Mail dbrennan@dom.wustl.edu
                Article
                371587 Am J Nephrol 2015;41:37-47
                10.1159/000371587
                25634230
                © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 4, References: 31, Pages: 11
                Categories
                Original Report: Transplantation

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Proteinuria, Glomerulonephritis, Rituximab, Renal transplantation

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