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Keywords:

  • ABO incompatibility;
  • antibody-mediated rejection;
  • lung transplant

A 24-year-old woman with cystic fibrosis underwent bilateral sequential lung transplantation and unintentionally received an ABO incompatible graft (blood type A1 graft into a type O recipient). The recipient had a high titer of IgG anti-A antibody (256 by the indirect antiglobulin test). Emergency treatment included antibody removal by plasmapheresis and additional immunosuppression with mycophenolate, rabbit antithymocyte globulin and polyspecific intravenous immunoglobulin. Subsequently, immunoadsorption and the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab were used to remove anti-A antibody and inhibit its resynthesis. Early graft function was good; one episode of rejection at Day 46 responded promptly to treatment with methylprednisolone. Subsequently, graft function continued to improve and anti-A antibody titers remained low. No infectious or other complications were encountered. The treatment regimen that we adopted may prove useful in other cases of unplanned ABO-incompatible organ transplants. The successful outcome suggests that planned ABO-incompatible lung transplants may be possible.