Prospective assessment of renal histopathological lesions in patients with end-stage liver disease: Effects on long-term renal function after liver transplantation

Liver Transplant Unit, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris and Université Paris-Descartes, Paris, France.
Journal of Hepatology (Impact Factor: 10.4). 05/2012; 57(3):572-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.04.028
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The incidence of organic renal lesions in patients with end-stage liver disease is unknown. The goal of this study was to make a prospective evaluation of renal histological lesions in a group of unselected patients awaiting liver transplantation.
Sixty cirrhotic patients underwent a renal biopsy via the transjugular route. The potential effect of renal lesions on renal function was evaluated five years after transplantation.
The yield of biopsies enabling satisfactory analysis was 77%, and no major complications occurred. Proteinuria>0.5 g/day was observed in only 8.7% of these patients, microscopic haematuria in 4.3%, creatinine levels>133 mmol/L (1.5mg/dl) in 10.9%, and Modification of the Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) clearance<60 ml/min in 13.0%. Twenty-five patients (55.3%) had a morphological diagnosis of renal disease, 15 displayed IgA nephropathy and immunofluorescence testing showed that 12 had specific diabetic linear staining for IgG and albumin, of whom seven had associated histological lesions of diabetic nephropathy. Five years after liver transplantation, renal function had significantly deteriorated more in patients with initial diabetic lesions than in those with normal histology or IgA nephropathy alone.
In patients with end-stage liver disease, IgA nephropathy and diabetic lesions were frequently found despite the absence of renal impairment and/or urinalysis anomalies. Our results strongly suggest that severe renal failure develops preferentially in liver transplant recipients with diabetes or carbohydrate intolerance, and that pre-existing arterial lesions may favour the nephrotoxicity of calcineurin inhibitors. Diabetes prior to transplantation needs to be strictly managed and requires a renal sparing immunosuppressive regimen after transplantation.

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    ABSTRACT: Renal dysfunction is a common complication of advanced liver failure and liver transplantation. Since the introduction of the MELD criteria the proportion of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease and need for liver transplantation has increased. One alternative is the combined liver-kidney transplant (CLKT). The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of this type of transplant in our center. We retrospectively analyzed all combined simultaneous or sequential transplants from 1989 to 2012. We studied demographic and clinical variables. Survival analysis was performed by Kaplan-Meier method. In the study period, 1,265 kidney and 1,050 liver transplantations were performed; 34 were CLKT (to 29 adults and 5 children); 13 of these were simultaneous and 12 sequential liver-kidney. We also carried out 4 triple liver-pancreas-kidney transplantations, 3 simultaneous and 1 sequential. The mean age was 44.1 ± 15 years, and 27 were male (93.1%); 9 (37.5%) were diabetic. The main causes of liver disease were viral (n = 11 [41.3%; hepatitis virus B, C, or both] and alcoholism (9 [31%]). The renal disease etiology was unknown in 16 (55.1%), IgA nephropathy in 2 (6.8%), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis in 2 (6.8%), and calcineurin inhibitor toxicity in 4 (13.6%). Transjugular renal biopsy was performed in 6 sequential transplants. Survival of patients who received a CLKT was excellent: 91%, 51%, and 40%, at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. No significant difference was found between sequential and simultaneous transplants (log rank 0.5). Our results of CLKT show results similar or superior to those of other series and are an alternative to consider in candidates for liver transplantation with chronic kidney disease. Transjugular biopsy is an alternative to study the etiology of renal disease in patients with hepatic dysfunction before or after liver transplantation.
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