Rituximab or plasmapheresis for prevention of recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis after kidney transplantation: A systematic review and meta-analysis
World journal of transplantation. 2021;11(7):303-319
BACKGROUND Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is one of the most common glomerular diseases leading to renal failure. FSGS has a high risk of recurrence after kidney transplantation. Prevention of recurrent FSGS using rituximab and/or plasmapheresis has been evaluated in multiple small studies with conflicting results. AIM: To assess the risk of recurrence of FSGS after transplantation using prophylactic rituximab with or without plasmapheresis, and plasmapheresis alone compared to the standard treatment group without preventive therapy. METHODS This meta-analysis and systematic review were performed by first conducting a literature search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases, from inception through March 2021; search terms included 'FSGS,' 'steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome', 'rituximab,' and 'plasmapheresis,'. We identified studies that assessed the risk of post-transplant FSGS after use of rituximab with or without plasmapheresis, or plasmapheresis alone. Inclusion criteria were: Original, published, randomized controlled trials or cohort studies (either prospective or retrospective), case-control, or cross-sectional studies; inclusion of odds ratio, relative risk, and standardized incidence ratio with 95% confidence intervals (CI), or sufficient raw data to calculate these ratios; and subjects without interventions (controls) being used as comparators in cohort and cross-sectional studies. Effect estimates from individual studies were extracted and combined using a random effects model. RESULTS Eleven studies, with a total of 399 kidney transplant recipients with FSGS, evaluated the use of rituximab with or without plasmapheresis; thirteen studies, with a total of 571 kidney transplant recipients with FSGS, evaluated plasmapheresis alone. Post-transplant FSGS recurred relatively early. There was no significant difference in recurrence between the group that received rituximab (with or without plasmapheresis) and the standard treatment group, with a pooled risk ratio of 0.82 (95%CI: 0.47-1.45, I (2) = 65%). Similarly, plasmapheresis alone was not associated with any significant difference in FSGS recurrence when compared with no plasmapheresis; the pooled risk ratio was 0.85 (95%CI: 0.60-1.21, I (2) = 23%). Subgroup analyses in the pediatric and adult groups did not yield a significant difference in recurrence risk. We also reviewed and analyzed post-transplant outcomes including timing of recurrence and graft survival. CONCLUSION Overall, the use of rituximab with or without plasmapheresis, or plasmapheresis alone, is not associated with a lower risk of FSGS recurrence after kidney transplantation. Future studies are required to assess the effectiveness of rituximab with or without plasmapheresis among specific patient subgroups with high-risk for FSGS recurrence.
Plasma exchange in patients with acute and acute-on-chronic liver failure: A systematic review
World journal of gastroenterology. 2020;26(2):219-245
BACKGROUND Acute liver failure (ALF) and acute-on-chronic liver (ACLF) carry high short-term mortality rate, and may result from a wide variety of causes. Plasma exchange has been shown in a randomized control trial to improve survival in ALF especially in patients who did not receive a liver transplant. Other cohort studies demonstrated potential improvement in survival in patients with ACLF. AIM: To assess utility of plasma exchange in liver failure and its effect on mortality in patients who do not undergo liver transplantation. METHODS Databases MEDLINE via PubMed, and EMBASE were searched and relevant publications up to 30 March, 2019 were assessed. Studies were included if they involved human participants diagnosed with liver failure who underwent plasma exchange, with or without another alternative non-bioartificial liver assist device. RESULTS Three hundred twenty four records were reviewed, of which 62 studies were found to be duplicates. Of the 262 records screened, 211 studies were excluded. Fifty-one articles were assessed for eligibility, for which 7 were excluded. Twenty-nine studies were included for ALF only, and 9 studies for ACLF only. Six studies included both ALF and ACLF patients. A total of 44 publications were included. Of the included publications, 2 were randomized controlled trials, 14 cohort studies, 12 case series, 16 case reports. All of three ALF studies which looked at survival rate or survival days reported improvement in outcome with plasma exchange. In two out of four studies where plasma exchange-based liver support systems were compared to standard medical treatment (SMT) for ACLF, a biochemical improvement was seen. Survival in the non-transplanted patients was improved in all four studies in patients with ACLF comparing plasma exchange vs SMT. Using the aforementioned studies, plasma exchange based therapy in ACLF compared to SMT improved survival in non-transplanted patients at 30 and 90-d with a pooled OR of 0.60 (95%CI 0.46-0.77, P < 0.01). CONCLUSION The level of evidence for use of high volume plasma exchange in selected ALF cases is high. Plasma exchange in ACLF improves survival at 30-and 90-d in non-transplanted patients. Further well-designed randomized control trials will need to be carried out to ascertain the optimal duration and amount of plasma exchange required and assess if the use of high volume plasma exchange can be extrapolated to patients with ACLF.
Adults and paediatric patients diagnosed with liver failure (44 studies).
Plasma exchange with or without other alternative liver support systems.
Standard medical treatment (SMT).
The acute liver failure (ALF) studies which looked at survival rate or survival days reported improvement in outcome with plasma exchange. In two out of four studies where plasma exchange-based liver support systems were compared to SMT for acute-on-chronic liver (ACLF), a biochemical improvement was seen. Survival in the non-transplanted patients was improved in all four studies in patients with ACLF comparing plasma exchange vs SMT. Using the aforementioned studies, plasma exchange based therapy in ACLF compared to SMT improved survival in non-transplanted patients at 30 and 90-d with a pooled OR of 0.60.