Background. The risk of recurrence of glomerulonephritis in kidney transplant recipients on a steroid-free maintenance immunosuppression protocol is unknown. Methods. We studied the 4-year graft and patient survival in 105 adult kidney transplant recipients who received their transplant for glomerulonephritis (GN) and were treated with a protocol incorporating rapid discontinuation of prednisone for 5 days (group 1). We compared these outcomes to two control groups; 439 concurrent recipients who received a transplant for causes other than GN (group 2) and to 260 kidney transplant recipients who received an allograft for GN between 1994 and 1999 and were maintained on a steroid-based immunosuppressive protocol (group 3). Results. The 4-year graft and patient survival were similar in the three groups. Acute rejection-free survival was also similar. Serial annual serum creatinine and estimated GFR were also comparable amongst the three groups. Two grafts were lost in group 1 from biopsy-proven recurrent GN and eight other subjects had evidence of histological recurrence at 11.2±11.9 months. Seven grafts were lost for recurrent disease in group 3 and 15 others had evidence of histological recurrence at 29.1±32.6 months. The mean time to graft loss from recurrence was 52±22 months. Conclusion. A regimen that utilizes rapid discontinuation of steroids conveys no added risk of graft loss from recurrent GN in the short term but longer follow-up is needed. A consideration should be made to discontinue corticosteroids in the potential recipients who are on them at the time of transplantation.
- Graft loss
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