Clinical and Experimental Nephrology

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 700–709 | Cite as

Successful management of post-transplant focal segmental glomerulosclerosis with therapeutic plasma exchange and rituximab

  • Konstantinos KoutroutsosEmail author
  • Rawya Charif
  • Linda Moran
  • Jill Moss
  • Terence Cook
  • Candice Roufosse
  • Charles Pusey
  • David Taube
  • Marina Loucaidou
Original Article



Post-transplant focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is associated with renal allograft loss. Currently, optimal treatment remains controversial.


The aim of our study was to examine the efficacy and safety of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), and rituximab (RTX), in the management of post-transplant FSGS. The treatment protocol consisted of RTX and monthly cycles of 5 plasma exchanges for 6 months. We treated 10 transplant recipients with biopsy-proven post-transplant FSGS. Lastly, we compared the studied group to a historic control group of nine patients with post-transplant FSGS.


9 out of 10 patients achieved remission after the conclusion of treatment (4 complete and 5 partial), while 1 patient did not respond to treatment. During the follow-up period, there was one graft loss and one patient died while in remission from unrelated complications. There was a significant reduction in mean uPCR between diagnosis (517.4 ± 524.2 mg/mmol) and last follow-up (87 ± 121.6 mg/mmol) in the patients with sustained remission (p = 0.026). There was no significant decline in eGFR in the eight relapse-free responders at the end of follow-up. (54.4 ± 16.7 from 49.8 ± 20.4 ml/min) (p = 0.6) An increased response rate to the combined TPE and RTX treatment was demonstrated, when compared to a historic control group of nine patients with post-transplant FSGS, as only five out of nine patients achieved remission (two complete and three partial) in that group.


In this study, treatment with TPE and RTX appears to be safe, well tolerated and effective in the management of patients with post-transplant FSGS.


Rituximab Transplantation Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis Therapeutic plasma exchange 



Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis


Urine protein creatinine ratio


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


Electron microscopy


Foot process effacement


Mycophenolate mofetil


Therapeutic plasma exchange


End-stage renal disease




Human albumin solution


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors have declared no competing interest.

Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. This was a retrospective review meeting the criteria for a service evaluation study and hence did not require approval from a Research Ethics Committee. This study was approved by the Departmental Transplant Research Group. This therapeutic protocol for the management of post-transplant FSGS was introduced in our institution in 2011 and became the standard treatment for this clinical condition as approved by the Transplant Clinical and Research Group in our Centre. Our retrospective study is in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration.

Informed consent

All patients gave their consent for treatment and received standard care according to our accepted unit protocol.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Nephrology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Imperial College Kidney and Transplant CentreLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of HistopathologyImperial Healthcare NHS TrustLondonUK
  3. 3.Sussex Kidney UnitRoyal Sussex County HospitalBrightonUK

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