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Dialysis arthropathy: Outcome after renal transplantation

, : Dialysis arthropathy: Outcome after renal transplantation. American Journal of Medicine 99(3): 243-248

Purpose: Patients treated by long-term maintenance hemodialysis frequently develop a form of chronic arthropathy that is strongly associated with beta-2-microglobulin amyloid deposition and related, at least in part, to beta-2-microglobulin retention. Successful renal transplantation is followed by a rapid fall in serum beta-2-microglobulin levels and might allow dissolution of amyloid deposits. The purpose of this work was to investigate the effects of renal transplantation on dialysis arthropathy. Patients and Methods: Fourteen renal transplant recipients were selected on the basis of previous hemodialysis treatment for at least 10 years (mean 16) and a history of chronic joint pain prior to transplantation. They all received 10 to 17.5 mg/d of prednisone. Posttransplant rheumatologic manifestations were studied prospectively and compared to pretransplant rheumatologic manifestations recorded in medical charts and reported during patient interviews. Pretransplant and posttransplant articular roentgenograms were separately analyzed by three observers who were blinded to timing of the films. beta-2-microglobulin amyloid was identified by Congo red staining and immunohistology. Results: After a mean posttransplant interval of 54 months (range 12 to 121), the articular condition was improved in 10 patients, unchanged in 1 and worsened in 3, according to patients' assessments. The number of painful joints decreased significantly (P lt 0.05) as compared to the pretransplant period. However the number and size of subchondral bone erosions remained unchanged, destructive arthropathies generally worsened, and articular beta-2-microglobulin amyloid deposits were identified in 2 patients, 2 and 10 years after renal transplantation, respectively. Conclusion: Renal transplantation appeared to arrest progression of beta-2-microglobulin amyloid in dialysis patients, but it neither led to dissolution of deposits nor prevented progression of destructive arthropathies. Most articular symptoms were improved, probably as a result of corticosteroid therapy.


PMID: 7653483

DOI: 10.1016/s0002-9343(99)80155-7

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