People with biopsy-proven glomerulonephritis (GN) as their cause of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) who undergo kidney transplantation incur significant risk of recurrent GN-related graft failure, but the risk in recipients with ESKD where GN was suspected but not biopsy proven (presumed/advanced GN) and when the cause of ESKD is unknown remains uncertain. Using the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant registry, we examined the associations between primary kidney transplant recipients whose ESKD was attributed to: 1) commonly-recurring GN (i.e. IgA nephropathy, membranoproliferative GN, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and membranous GN), 2) presumed/advanced GN, and 3) cause of ESKD unknown (uESKD) and GN-related graft failure using adjusted competing risk models. Of 5258 recipients followed for a median of 8 years, 3539 (67.3%) had commonly-recurring GN, 1195 (22.7%) presumed/advanced GN, and 524 (10.0%) uESKD. Compared to recipients with commonly-recurring GN, recipients with presumed/advanced GN or uESKD experienced a low incidence of GN-related graft failure (<1%) and a lower hazard of GN-related graft failure (adjusted sub-distribution hazard ratio [HR] 0.28 [95%CI 0.15-0.54,p < 0.001] and 0.20 [95%CI 0.06-0.64,p = 0.007], respectively). People with ESKD attributed to either presumed/advanced GN or unknown cause face a very low risk of graft failure secondary to GN recurrence after transplantation.
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