Does the Banff rejection activity index predict outcome in patients with early acute cellular rejection following liver transplantation?

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Abstract

The Banff schema incorporates a semiquantitative scoring system for grading of acute cellular rejection (ACR) of the liver allograft. The Banff rejection activity index (RAI) comprises 3 components scored from 0 to 3: venous endothelial inflammation (E); bile duct damage (B); and portal inflammation (P); the scores are combined to an overall score (the RAI). The purpose of this research was to determine the prognostic value of the Banff RAI score in predicting the response to increased immunosuppression and the long-term outcome of the graft. A retrospective study was done of patients undergoing primary liver transplantation between January 2000 and October 2004 with tacrolimus-based immunosuppression; 495 patients were included, 231 had histologically-confirmed ACR, 193 responded to 1 cycle of high-dose steroids. There was no correlation between the total RAI score and response to steroids, resistant rejection, development of chronic rejection, or graft survival. The E score was related to patient survival, a lower score being associated with a worse outcome (P = 0.048). In multivariable analysis, serum bilirubin, serum aspartate aminotransferase, and E score were significant predictors of death (P = 0.012). In univariable analysis, B score and bilirubin were significantly related to “resistant rejection” (P = 0.018 and 0.002, respectively), but only bilirubin was significant in multivariable analysis (logistic regression). In conclusion, although the Banff RAI score is a useful marker of the severity of rejection, neither the total RAI score nor any of the individual components correlated with response to steroids or graft survival. Liver Transpl 12:1144–1151, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.

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