Background. The purpose of this study was to attempt to resolve two important issues, i.e. to determine (1) whether the course of recurrent immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) is benign, and (2) whether it is advisable to use a related donor. Methods. We evaluated the long-term outcome, in terms of recurrence and graft survival, after live related or unrelated donor renal transplantation, and assessed the validity of the use of related donors in 90 grafts in 89 IgAN patients. Results. Ten-year graft survival for IgAN patients was 66%, compared with 84% for 107 reference recipients who had other kinds of glomerulonephritis (GN), and with 69% in 90 other recipients who had non-GN renal failure (P=0.27). In 43 grafts, 54 event graft biopsies were performed, documenting the presence of mesangial IgA deposits in 19 of those grafts. In eight grafts, lesions were accompanied by chronic rejection (CR). Ten-year cumulative recurrence was 44%. Ten grafts were lost: by CR (n=3) or acute rejection (n=1) in 24 recurrence-free recipients, by CR (n=2) or recurrence (n=2) in 19 recurrent patients, and by patient death (n=2) in 46 patients devoid of graft biopsy. We found no difference in 1O-year graft survival between the recurrent and recurrence-free patients (63% vs. 74%, P=0.98), or the proportion of related donors (68% vs. 83%, P=0.25). The presence or matching of HLA B12, B35, or DR4 did not affect the recurrence. Conclusions. Recurrence increased to 44% with longer follow-up, but this did not limit the graft outcome. Recurrence was not affected by the kind of live donor. We conclude that live related or unrelated kidneys should be offered to IgAN patients.
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