Patients with lupus nephritis (LN) who undergo kidney transplantation have good 5-year graft and patient survival rates, Brazilian investigators concluded in a paper published in Scientific Reports.

In a retrospective study, a team at the University of Fortaleza (Unifor), Fortaleza, Brazil, led by Carlos Ewerton Maia Rodrigues, MD, examined graft and survival outcomes of 35 patients with LN who underwent 38 kidney transplantations (include 3 retransplantations). The patients had a mean age of 23.7 years at the time of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) diagnosis. The mean time from SLE diagnosis to transplantation was 10.3 years, and the mean pre-transplantation dialysis time was 3.8 years.

Graft and patient survival rates at 5 years were 76.3% and 92.5%, respectively, Dr Rodrigues and his colleagues reported. Only 1 patient (2.6%) experienced SLE recurrence.

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In addition, the study revealed a significant association between antiphospholipid syndrome and graft loss. The study found no significant association between graft loss and smoking or hypertension, factors usually associated with diminished graft survival, the authors stated.

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The investigators acknowledged that their study was limited by the small sample size, lack of an age- and gender-matched control group of patients without LN who were diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, and lack of a controlled post-transplantation treatment protocol.


Albuquerque BC, Salles VB, Tajra RDP, Rodrigues CEM. Outcome and prognosis of patients with lupus nephritis submitted to renal transplantation. Sci Rep. 2019;9:11611.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48070-y