Background: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) is the leading cause of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, which may follow an unfavorable disease course. Despite therapeutic advances, a number of patients with AAV will eventually develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Renal transplantation (RTx) is associated with a survival benefit and improves quality of life in patients with ESRD. Summary: In recent years, RTx has been increasingly used also in patients with vasculitis. The posttransplant patient- and graft-survival rates in AAV were at least comparable to other diagnoses in most studies. Prior to transplantation, patients should be in stable remission for 12 months. Persistent ANCA positivity does not exclude patients from the waiting list. Even though the recurrence risk is generally low with modern posttransplant immunosuppression, including mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus, patients with AAV, particularly those with positive antiproteinase-3 ANCA who may have increased risk of relapse or recurrence of the disease, require constant surveillance. Similar to treatment of relapsing disease in the nontransplant setting, rituximab may become treatment of choice for posttransplant recurrences. Key Messages: RTx is the preferred renal replacement therapy of choice for AAV patients with ESRD. It is recommended that patients should be in remission for about 12 months prior to proceeding with RTx. ANCA positivity alone is not a contraindication for transplantation. The risk of relapse posttransplantation is minimal with currently used posttransplant immunosuppressive regimen.
- Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody vasculitis
- Recurrence risk
- Renal transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine