Recurrent Glomerular Diseases in Renal Transplantation with Focus on Role of Electron Microscopy
<b><i>Background:</i></b> The common causes of renal transplant complications include active or chronic rejection process, infections, and toxicity but also recurrent or de novo diseases, which play an important role in affecting long-term graft function or graft loss. <b><i>Summary:</i></b> Recurrent disease in renal transplantation is defined as recurrence of the original kidney disease leading to end-stage kidney disease. They comprise a heterogeneous group of predominantly glomerular and
... e tubulointerstitial and vascular lesions, which include primary kidney diseases (e.g., focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, membranous glomerulonephritis, and IgA nephropathy) or those secondary to systemic autoimmune, metabolic, and infectious processes that can range from subclinical to clinically overt acute, subacute, or chronic clinical presentations. In addition to the knowledge of prior renal disease and routine/periodic serum and urine testing for kidney function, a complete transplant renal biopsy examination is essential in the identification and differentiation of these diseases. The time of onset and severity of these diseases depend on the underlying etiopathogenetic mechanisms and the varied rates of recurrence in the early or late posttransplant period, often being modified by the current immunosuppressive protocols and other donor and recipient predisposing characteristics. <b><i>Key Messages:</i></b> Transplant kidney biopsy findings provide diagnostic accuracy and prognostic information regarding the potential for reversibility along with detection of unsuspected or clinically symptomatic recurrent diseases, with any concomitant rejection process or toxicity, for appropriate therapeutic decision-making. Routine electron microscopy in transplant kidney biopsies is a valuable tool in recognizing fully developed or early/subtle features of evolving recurrent diseases, often during the subclinical phases, in for cause or surveillance allograft biopsies.