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      Clinical Features, Treatment and Prognostic Factors of Post-Transplant Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy

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          Initially described as a relatively benign condition, recent studies report graft loss in up to 50% of the patients with post-transplant IgA nephropathy. There is no evidence for the best therapeutic approach, and prognostic factors remain to be elucidated.


          Single center retrospective analysis of patients >12 years old, with clinically relevant post-transplant IgA nephropathy (proteinuria ≥1.0 g/g and/or graft dysfunction) and ≥6 months follow-up after diagnosis (n=47).


          Living donor transplants represented 85% of cases. Dysmorphic hematuria (100%), blood pressure elevation (95.7%), renal dysfunction (70.2%) and subnephrotic proteinuria (60.6%) predominated at presentation. Using the Oxford Classification, mesangial proliferation was the main histological lesion (91%). Treatment consisted mostly of blockade of the renin angiotensin system (89.4%) and modification of immunosuppression (85.1%), mainly by increasing oral steroids dose (83%), with venous pulse therapy in 63.8% of cases. Partial and complete remission occurred in 48.9% and 17% of cases, respectively. One patient died (sepsis) and 15 patients (31.9%) lost their grafts due to nephropathy. The percentage of decrease in glomerular filtration rate at diagnosis was independently associated with partial remission (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94–0.99, p=0.01) and graft loss (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.20, p<0.001). Deceased donor (HR 28.04, 95% CI 4.41–178.39, p<0.001) and donor age (HR 1.1, 95% CI 1.04–1.16, p=0.001) were also risk factors for graft loss.


          Despite treatment, most patients with post-transplant IgA nephropathy in this cohort study presented unfavorable outcomes, and graft dysfunction at diagnosis appeared to be the main prognostic marker.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Predicting progression in IgA nephropathy.

           G Lajoie,  L Sugar,  D Cattran (2001)
          Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy is one of the most common primary types of glomerulonephritis to progress to end-stage renal disease. Its variable and often long natural history makes it difficult to predict outcome. We investigated the association of the rate of renal function decline based on the slope of creatinine clearance over time with demographic, clinical, laboratory, and histological data from 298 patients with biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy with a mean follow-up of 70 months. Using univariate analysis, urinary protein excretion at baseline and Lee pathological grading, as well as mean arterial pressure (MAP) and urinary protein excretion during follow-up, were associated with the rate of deterioration in renal function. Of these, only MAP and urinary protein excretion during follow-up were identified as independent factors by multiple linear regression analysis. The combination of best accuracy of prediction and shortest observation time using these two parameters was reached between the second and third years of follow-up. A semiquantitative method of estimating the rate of progression by using these factors was developed. These results indicate that MAP and severity of proteinuria over time are the most important prognostic indicators of IgA nephropathy. The potential relevance of the algorithm in patient management is shown.
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            Proteinuria patterns and their association with subsequent end-stage renal disease in IgA nephropathy.

            Proteinuria (UP) >1.0 g/24 h at diagnosis is a well-known indicator of progressive renal disease in patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN). To determine if persistent UP is a more sensitive marker for later progression of IgAN, the hypothesis was tested that the prior level and trend (slope) in UP for 1 year was better at predicting later end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (dialysis or transplant) than a current 24-h UP, serum creatinine (SC), SC slope, hypertension, or total glomerular histopathological score on index renal biopsy in an observational study of 154 high-risk patients enrolled in two clinical trials (IgAN 1, IgAN 2). Measurements of 24-h UP and SC were made at time 0, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year in all patients, who were then followed for an additional 5.76 years and 1.63 years in the two studies, respectively. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify predictors of ESRD following the 1-year visit. Adjusting only for randomized treatment, nearly all UP variables (number of high readings, 1-year level, slopes), SC at 1 year, and SC trends (slopes) over the prior year were significantly associated with subsequent ESRD (all P values <0.05) in both studies. However, among the UP variables, the 1-year readings had the strongest association with ESRD in IgAN 1 (hazard ratio (HR), 95% CI, for a 1g increase: 1.5, 1.2,1.9), and the second strongest association (similar to UP trends) in IgAN 2 (1.4, 1.2,1.6). Males had lower rates of ESRD in both studies (IgAN 1 HR: 0.5, 0.2,1.2, P=0.11; IgAN 2 HR: 0.2, 0.1,0.6, P=0.002). In the multivariate analyses that examined all clinical and histological variables, 1-year levels of 24-h UP and SC, and female gender were independently associated with subsequent ESRD. In a high-risk patient with IgAN, the current 24-h UP and SC measurements are as good predictors of subsequent ESRD as UP and SC trends and levels over the prior year. Additionally, it appears that females have poorer outcomes than males.
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              Excessive body weight as a new independent risk factor for clinical and pathological progression in primary IgA nephritis.

              Experimental evidence suggests a role for obesity in the formation and progression of some glomerular lesions, but data for human glomerulonephritis are lacking. In a cohort of 162 incident patients with biopsy-proven immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, we assessed whether the presence of an elevated body mass index (BMI >/= 25 kg/m(2)) at the time of the first renal biopsy (RB1) correlated with clinical data at RB1 (24-hour proteinuria, arterial hypertension, and renal function), pathological data (global optical score [GOS] with detailed pathological indices), and clinical progression to both arterial hypertension and chronic renal failure (CRF). In both univariate and multivariate analyses, the presence of an elevated BMI at RB1 was significantly associated with the severity of pathological renal lesions (GOS and vascular, tubular, and interstitial indices). Hypertension-free survival was significantly less in overweight patients (P: < 0.0001) compared with those with normal weight. In a Cox regression analysis for hypertension-free survival including 24-hour proteinuria greater than 1 g, GOS, and metabolic parameters, only elevated BMI and GOS were independent factors for the development of arterial hypertension. CRF-free survival was also significantly less in patients with an excessive BMI. In a multivariate Cox regression analysis for CRF-free survival, hypertension, GOS, and BMI at RB1 were independent risk factors for CRF. In IgA nephropathy, excessive body weight and/or BMI are underestimated predictive factors for the development of arterial hypertension and, ultimately, CRF.

                Author and article information

                Ann Transplant
                Ann. Transplant
                Annals of Transplantation
                Annals of Transplantation
                International Scientific Literature, Inc.
                09 March 2018
                : 23
                : 166-175
                [1 ]Glomerulopathies Section (Nephrology Division), Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                [2 ]Transplantation Section (Nephrology Division), Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and Hospital do Rim, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Diogo Buarque Cordeiro Cabral, e-mail: ,

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                © Ann Transplant, 2018

                This work is licensed under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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