Renal transplantation was performed in 25 patients for renal failure secondary to nephrotic syndrome and histologically proven focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). They received 33 allografts, 13 from cadaveric (CAD) and 20 from living related donors (LRD) including 6 HLA-identical siblings. All have been followed for at least 1 year with none lost to follow-up. Overall, functional graft survival of the 33 grafts was 68.7% at 12 months and 60.5% at 48 months, similar to controls matched for age, sex, time of transplant, and donor source. Recurrent FSGS was documented histologically in 9 (5 CAD and 4 LRD) of 33 grafts (27.3%) and resulted in loss of graft function in 3 (9.9%). The presence and extent of mesangial proliferation (MP) in conjunction with or preceding typical lesions of FSGS in native kidneys was predictive of recurrent disease. Age at onset, duration of disease, and donor source were not. Sixteen patients with only FSGS on multiple biopsies of native kidneys received 22 allografts and recurrent disease occurred in 4 (18%) but did not cause loss of graft function in any. Six patients with focal areas of MP as well as FSGS underwent eight transplants, in which recurrent FSGS developed in two (25%) and caused graft loss in one. All three grafts transplanted to the patients with diffuse MP and FSGS developed recurrent disease, this resulting in graft failure in two. This study demonstrates the importance of a thorough histological evaluation by multiple biopsies of all patients with steroid-nonresponsive nephrotic syndrome. Only in this manner does it appear possible to define that subgroup of patients with FSGS who are at greatest risk of clinically significant recurrent disease.
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