Early findings of prospective anti-HLA donor specific antibodies monitoring study in pancreas transplantation: Indiana University Health Experience


  • Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Corresponding author: Muhammad A. Mujtaba, MD, FASN, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine/Indiana University Health, 550 N. University Blvd., Suite UH4601, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Tel.: 317 274 7534; fax: 317 948 3268;

e-mail: mmujtaba@iupui.edu


The significance of donor-specific antibodies (DSA) is not well known in the setting of pancreas transplantation. Since December 2009, we prospectively followed pancreas transplant patients with single-antigen-luminex-bead testing at one, two, three, six, and then every six months for the first two yr. Thirty-five of the 92 patients that underwent pancreas transplantation (13 pancreas-alone [PTA], 20 with a kidney [SPK], and two after a kidney [PAK]) agreed to participate in study. Median age at transplant was 45 yr and follow-up was 23 months. Majority were Caucasian (n = 33) and male (n = 18). Rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin induction was used. Median HLA-mismatch was 4.2 ± 1.1. Eight patients (7SPK, 1PAK) developed post-transplant DSA at median follow-up of 76 d (26–119), 1 SPK had pre-formed DSA. Seven patients had both class I and class II DSA, one with class I and one with class II only. Mean peak class I DSA-MFI was 3529 (±1456); class II DSA-MFI was 5734 (±3204) whereas cumulative DSA MFI (CI + CII) was 9264 (±4233). No difference was observed in the patient and donor demographics among patients with and without DSA. One patient in non-DSA group developed acute cellular rejection of pancreas. From our data it appears that post-transplant DSA in pancreas allograft recipients may not impact the early-pancreatic allograft outcomes. The utility of prospective DSA monitoring in pancreatic transplant patients needs further evaluation and long-term follow-up.