Issue: 2013 > September > review

Living kidney transplantation in adult patients with atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome

J.C. Verhave, D. Westra, H.W. van Hamersvelt, M. van Helden, N.C.A.J. van de Kar, J.F.M. Wetzels


Background: Dysregulation of complement activation is the most common cause of the atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS). Many patients with aHUS develop end-stage renal disease and consider kidney
transplantation. However, the recurrence rate after
transplantation ranges from 45-90% in patients with
known abnormalities in circulating complement proteins. It was recently proposed that patients with aHUS should be treated prophylactically with plasma exchange or eculizumab to prevent recurrence after transplantation. Methods: A case series describing the successful outcome
of kidney transplantation without prophylactic therapy in
four adult patients with aHUS and a high risk of disease
recurrence. Patients received a living donor kidney and
immunosuppression consisting of basiliximab induction,
low-dose tacrolimus, prednisone and mycophenolate
mofetil. Patients received a statin, and were targeted to a low blood pressure preferably using blockers of the renin-angiotensin system. Results: After a follow-up of 16-21 months, none of the patients developed recurrent aHUS. Also, no rejection was observed. Conclusions: Kidney transplantation in adult patients with aHUS can be successful without prophylactic eculizumab, using a protocol that minimises cold ischaemia time, reduces the risk of rejection and provides endothelial protection. Our data suggest that in patients with aHUS, controlled trials are needed to demonstrate the optimal strategy.