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Eculizumab in dense-deposit disease after renal transplantation

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Dense-deposit disease (DDD) is a rare glomerulopathy characterized by electron-dense deposits in the glomerular basement membrane. About 50 % of patients with DDD progress to end-stage kidney disease and require dialysis within 10 years of diagnosis, and the disease often recurs after renal transplantation.


We describe a 14-year-old girl with recurrent DDD in her transplanted kidney. Clinical onset was at 8 years of age, when steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome was diagnosed with microhematuria, severe hypocomplementemia and normal kidney function. Although remission was initially observed after several plasma exchanges, nephrotic proteinuria returned and kidney function further declined 1 year later. The patient received a living-related kidney transplant. Initial allograft function was good, but proteinuria reappeared 3 months after transplantation, accompanied by a slight deterioration in kidney function. After histological confirmation of DDD recurrence and subsequent management with plasmapheresis, the patient was treated for 30 months with eculizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to C5 complement protein. This intervention proved effective and resulted in complement inhibition, sustained remission of proteinuria and preservation of renal function. A graft biopsy 6 months later showed no progression of the renal lesions.


Early clinical and histological recurrence of DDD in the transplanted kidney in this 14-year-old patient was treated for 30 months with eculizumab. The patient remains asymptomatic, has no proteinuria and her kidney function is intact.

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We thank M. José Viera and Flora López for their help with nursing care, and K. Shashok for improving the use of English in the manuscript (with support from the FISEVI Foundation). Medical editing was provided by Bioscript Medical Ltd, supported by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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Correspondence to Ana Sánchez-Moreno.

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Sánchez-Moreno, A., De la Cerda, F., Cabrera, R. et al. Eculizumab in dense-deposit disease after renal transplantation. Pediatr Nephrol 29, 2055–2059 (2014).

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