PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review will provide a practical approach in the assessment of kidney failure patients with primary glomerulonephritides (GN) being considered for kidney transplantation, focusing on high-risk subtypes of immunoglobulin A nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, idiopathic membranous glomerulonephritis and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. RECENT FINDINGS: Recurrent glomerulonephritis remains one of the most common causes of allograft loss in kidney transplant recipients. Although the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of glomerulonephritis recurrence occurring after kidney transplantation are relatively well-described, the natural course and optimal treatment strategies of recurrent disease in kidney allografts remain poorly defined. With a greater understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment responses of patients with glomerulonephritis affecting the native kidneys, these discoveries have laid the framework for the potential to improve the management of patients with high-risk glomerulonephritis subtypes being considered for kidney transplantation. SUMMARY: Advances in the understanding of the underlying immunopathogenesis of primary GN has the potential to offer novel therapeutic options for kidney patients who develop recurrent disease after kidney transplantation. To test the efficacy of novel treatment options in adequately powered clinical trials requires a more detailed understanding of the clinical and histological characteristics of kidney transplant recipients with recurrent glomerulonephritis.