A Case Report of Recurrent Lupus Nephritis 15 Days After Renal Transplantation

Lily A. Romero Karam, Amol M. Patel, Luan Truong, Juan M. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Renal transplantation is an ever-growing therapeutic option for patients with end-stage renal disease due to lupus nephritis. Outcomes for these patients are comparable to those of patients receiving renal transplantation for other causes. A known complication for these patients is recurrence of lupus nephritis in the renal graft (recurrent lupus nephritis [RLN]). Although disease severity at the time of recurrence is usually milder, a small number of cases have been reported to progress to allograft failure. There is a trend toward preemptive renal transplantation in patients with lupus nephritis, as more favorable outcomes have been observed with this treatment modality. While clinicians usually seek clinical remission of lupus prior to proceeding with renal transplantation, no guidelines are established regarding how often to check for serologic activity of lupus in patients with end-stage renal disease due to lupus nephritis and whether these serologic markers should be taken into account when deciding on the timing of transplantation. We present a case of early RLN co-occurring with acute cellular rejection 15 days after renal transplantation. The patient had been in clinical remission for more than 5 months prior to transplantation but had a rise in anti–double-stranded DNA antibody titers and a decrease in complement C3 level at the time of surgery. Although additional studies are needed to establish the extent to which serologic markers of lupus correlate with renal graft dysfunction, this case suggests hypocomplementemia and high double-stranded DNA antibody titers may be a risk factor for early RLN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-618
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear/blood
  • Complement C3/metabolism
  • Graft Rejection
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic/etiology
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Lupus Nephritis/immunology
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery


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