Anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a newer and effective therapeutic option approved for patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Acute kidney injury is a complication of CAR T-cell therapy that can result in kidney failure. In most cases, it is thought to be related to hemodynamic changes due to cytokine release syndrome. Kidney biopsy in this clinical scenario is usually not performed. We report on a kidney transplant recipient in his 40s who developed a posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder of B-cell origin refractory to conventional treatments and received anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy as compassionate treatment. Beginning on day 12 after CAR T-cell infusion, in the absence of clinical symptoms, a progressive decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate of the kidney graft occurred. A subsequent allograft biopsy showed mild tubulointerstitial lymphocyte infiltrates, falling into a Banff borderline-changes category and resembling an acute immunoallergic tubulointerstitial nephritis. Neither CAR T cells nor lymphomatous B cells were detected within the graft cellular infiltrates, suggesting an indirect mechanism of kidney injury. Although kidney graft function partially recovered after steroid therapy, the posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder progressed and the patient died 7 months later.
© 2021 The Authors.