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Cyclophosphamide as a Treatment for Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis Recurrence in a Kidney Transplant Patient

Mariann H. Al-Jehani, Faisal Al-Husayni, Abdullah Aljabri, Hatim Qasim AlMaghraby, Turki A. Banamah

(College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e929097

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.929097


BACKGROUND: Primary focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS) frequently causes recurrence after kidney transplantation, leading to graft loss in half of the patients. Conservative treatment of FSGS is the main acceptable method due to the lack of randomized clinical trials. A few strategies are known to treat FSGS recurrence, such as plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), but failure to achieve remission may occur. In addition, some of these treatment strategies are more established in pediatric patients and lack evidence in adult patients.
CASE REPORT: We describe the case of a 24-year-old woman who had a kidney transplant due to FSGS and was admitted to the hospital for an evaluation of lower-limb and facial swelling. Her kidney biopsy showed segmental glomerulosclerosis compatible with recurrence of FSGS. Her FSGS relapses were further confirmed by increase in serum creatinine and proteinuria. The patient had several FSGS relapses that were treated by different combinations of plasmapheresis, pulse steroid, mycophenolic acid, tacrolimus, prednisolone, IVIG, and IV rituximab. She did not respond to conventional therapy and was eventually treated successfully using cyclophosphamide and remained in remission afterward.
CONCLUSIONS: FSGS has a high recurrence rate after kidney transplantation. A few options to achieve remission have been investigated. In this report, we present the case of a young woman with FSGS recurrence after a kidney transplant, achieving remission successfully with cyclophosphamide. Cyclophosphamide can be used a treatment of FSGS recurrence in a transplanted kidney when all other options have been exhausted. Additional research is needed to assess the efficacy and safety profile of cyclophosphamide in such cases.

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