This study was conducted to determine kidney transplantation (KTx) outcomes for Greek patients with renal failure caused by lupus nephritis (LN) compared with matched controls, kidney recipients with other causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Twenty-six patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) subjected to 26 kidney transplants were studied. For comparative purposes a case-control group was selected, matched for gender, source of donor, age and time of KTx. Patient and graft survival estimates were calculated with the Kaplan-Meier product limit estimator and survival estimates were compared with the log-rank test. All patients received cyclosporine or tacrolimus in combination with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil for chronic immunosuppression in addition to steroids. Fourteen transplants were from living-related donors and 12 were from deceased donors. The graft survival rates for lupus patients were 88% at 1 year, 67% at 5 years, 38% at 10 years, poorer than the control survival rates of 92%, 92% and 84% (P=0.004). Patient survival in the lupus group did not differ from that of the controls. Survival in the lupus group was 92% at 1 year, 77% at 5 years and 77% at 10 years vs. 96%, 92% and 92% (P=0.26). Chronic allograft nephropathy was the major cause of graft loss. Recurrent LN was detected in two patients, but only one lead to graft failure. SLE patients compared with controls had significantly higher rates of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, infections and malignancies. Compared with matched controls, SLE patients had inferior but still satisfactory graft survival rates, whereas patient survival rates were similar.