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      High-Dose Mycophenolate Mofetil in the Treatment of Posttransplant Glomerular Disease in the Allograft: A Case Series

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          Background: Glomerular disease is an important cause of allograft loss. Treatment regimens for posttransplant glomerular disease are not well defined. Several reports have demonstrated that mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is effective in treating native kidney glomerular disease. The effects of MMF are dose related. Therefore, we hypothesized that high-dose MMF (3 g/day) would be effective in treating glomerular disease in the allograft, minimizing the need for intravenous steroids and/or cyclophosphamide. This case series describes the results of the use of high-dose MMF in 6 patients. Methods: High-dose MMF (3 g/day) was used to treat biopsy-proven glomerular disease (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, proliferative lupus nephritis, and perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies glomerulonephritis) in 6 renal transplant recipients. Patients were offered this treatment if they had failed or did not tolerate standard treatment regimens. Remission was defined by a decrease or stabilization of serum creatinine, decrease in proteinuria and, where applicable, improvement in immunological markers of disease. Results: All 6 patients had disease remission after starting MMF with the most common side effect being leukopenia, which responded to dose reduction. Conclusions: High-dose MMF may be an effective agent in treating glomerular disease in the allograft.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Circulating factor associated with increased glomerular permeability to albumin in recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

          Heavy proteinuria and progressive renal injury recur after transplantation in up to 40 percent of patients with renal failure caused by idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. A circulating factor may be responsible for this recurrence. To determine whether patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis have a circulating factor capable of causing glomerular injury, we tested serum samples from 100 patients with the disorder in an in vitro assay of glomerular permeability to albumin. Of the 56 patients who had undergone renal transplantation, 33 had recurrences. Sixty-four patients, many of whom had undergone transplantation, were being treated with dialysis. Thirty-one patients with other renal diseases and nine normal subjects were also studied. The 33 patients with recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis after transplantation had a higher mean (+/-SE) value for permeability to albumin (0.47+/-0.06) than the normal subjects (0.06+/-0.07) or the patients who did not have recurrences (0.14+/-0.06). After plasmapheresis in six patients with recurrences, the permeability was reduced (from 0.79+/-0.06 to 0.10+/-0.05, P = 0.008), and proteinuria was significantly decreased. Patients with corticosteroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome or with membranous nephropathy after transplantation had low levels of serum activity. The circulating factor bound to protein A and hydrophobic-interaction columns and had an apparent molecular mass of about 50 kd. A circulating factor found in some patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is associated with recurrent disease after renal transplantation and may be responsible for initiating the renal injury.
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            Sequential therapies for proliferative lupus nephritis.

            Long-term therapy with cyclophosphamide enhances renal survival in patients with proliferative lupus nephritis; however, the beneficial effect of cyclophosphamide must be weighed against its considerable toxic effects. Fifty-nine patients with lupus nephritis (12 in World Health Organization class III, 46 in class IV, and 1 in class Vb) received induction therapy consisting of a maximum of seven monthly boluses of intravenous cyclophosphamide (0.5 to 1.0 g per square meter of body-surface area) plus corticosteroids. Subsequently, the patients were randomly assigned to one of three maintenance therapies: quarterly intravenous injections of cyclophosphamide, oral azathioprine (1 to 3 mg per kilogram of body weight per day), or oral mycophenolate mofetil (500 to 3000 mg per day) for one to three years. The base-line characteristics of the three groups were similar, with the exception that the chronicity index was 1.9 points lower in the cyclophosphamide group than in the mycophenolate mofetil group (P=0.009). During maintenance therapy, five patients died (four in the cyclophosphamide group and one in the mycophenolate mofetil group), and chronic renal failure developed in five (three in the cyclophosphamide group and one each in the azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil groups). The 72-month event-free survival rate for the composite end point of death or chronic renal failure was higher in the mycophenolate mofetil and azathioprine groups than in the cyclophosphamide group (P=0.05 and P=0.009, respectively). The rate of relapse-free survival was higher in the mycophenolate mofetil group than in the cyclophosphamide group (P=0.02). The incidence of hospitalization, amenorrhea, infections, nausea, and vomiting was significantly lower in the mycophenolate mofetil and azathioprine groups than in the cyclophosphamide group. For patients with proliferative lupus nephritis, short-term therapy with intravenous cyclophosphamide followed by maintenance therapy with mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine appears to be more efficacious and safer than long-term therapy with intravenous cyclophosphamide. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society
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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.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG
                November 2004
                17 November 2004
                : 98
                : 3
                : c61-c66
                Departments of aMedicine and bPathology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., USA
                80674 Nephron Clin Pract 2004;98:c61–c66
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 19, Pages: 1
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/80674
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