Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) develops from various etiologies, and it is often difficult to distinguish the etiology of TMA in kidney transplantation. Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is one of the differential diagnoses for TMA that may cause acute loss of graft function or fatal thrombotic complications. This report details a 66-year-old male patient with polycythemia after ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation. Antibody screening tests were negative before transplant. Despite administration of an adequate desensitization therapy including plasmapheresis and rituximab, he developed acute graft dysfunction on postoperative day 112 and graft biopsy revealed prominent microvascular inflammation in the glomerular capillaries without immunoglobulin deposits. Flow cytometric panel-reactive antibody screening failed to detect donor-specific antibodies at both pre-transplant and episode biopsies. Anticardiolipin antibody was repeatedly positive, but neither thrombosis nor previous thrombotic episodes were detected. After excluding several differential diagnoses, the graft dysfunction with unexplained TMA was treated with steroid pulse, plasmapheresis and rituximab re-induction. Anticardiolipin antibody disappeared after this intensive treatment and graft function recovered gradually and stabilized for 52 months. This report suggests that asymptomatic anticardiolipin antibody may be associated with acute graft dysfunction. Even if thrombotic episodes are not observed, an exist of anticardiolipin antibody may be one of the risk factors of renal TMA after kidney transplantation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes