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Keywords:

  • Acute humoral rejection;
  • alloantibody;
  • human leukocyte antigen;
  • kidney transplant;
  • positive crossmatch;
  • single antigen beads

We examined the course of donor-specific alloantibody (DSA) levels early after transplant and their relationship with acute humoral rejection (AHR) in two groups of positive crossmatch (+XM) kidney transplant recipients: High DSA group—41 recipients with a baseline T- or B-cell flow crossmatch (TFXM, BFXM) channel shift ≥300 (molecules of equivalent soluble fluorochrome units (MESF) of approximately 19 300) who underwent pretransplant plasmapheresis (PP), and Low DSA group—29 recipients with a baseline channel shift <300 who did not undergo PP. The incidence of AHR was 39% (16/41) in the High DSA group and 31% (9/29) in the Low DSA group. Overall, mean DSA levels decreased by day 4 posttransplant and remained low in patients who did not develop AHR. By day 10, DSA levels increased in patients developing AHR with 92% (23/25) of patients with a BFXM >359 (MESF of approximately 34 000) developing AHR. The BFXM and the total DSA measured by single antigen beads correlated well across a wide spectrum suggesting that either could be used for monitoring. We conclude that AHR is associated with the development of High DSA levels posttransplant and protocols aimed at maintaining DSA at lower levels may decrease the incidence of AHR.