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Keywords:

  • Allosensitization;
  • antibody-mediated rejection;
  • desensitization;
  • immunoadsorption;
  • kidney transplantation

Various desensitization protocols were shown to enable successful living donor kidney transplantation across a positive complement-dependent cytotoxicity crossmatch (CDCXM). Positive crossmatch transplantation, however, is less well established for deceased donor transplantation. We report a cohort of 68 deceased donor renal allograft recipients who, on the basis of broad sensitization (lymphocytotoxic panel reactivity ≥40%), were subjected to a protocol of peritransplant immunoadsorption (IA). Treatment consisted of a single session of immediate pretransplant IA (protein A) followed by posttransplant IA and antilymphocyte antibody therapy. Twenty-one patients had a positive CDCXM, which could be rendered negative by pretransplant apheresis. Solid phase HLA antibody detection revealed preformed donor-specific antibodies (DSA) in all 21 CDCXM-positive and in 30 CDCXM-negative recipients. At 5 years, overall graft survival, death-censored graft survival and patient survival were 63%, 76% and 87%, respectively, without any differences between CDCXM-positive, CDCXM-negative/DSA-positive and CDCXM-negative/DSA-negative recipients. Furthermore, groups did not differ regarding rates of antibody-mediated rejection (24% vs. 30% vs. 24%, p = 0.84), cellular rejection (14% vs. 23% vs. 18%, p = 0.7) or allograft function (median 5-year serum creatinine: 1.3 vs. 1.8 vs. 1.7 mg/dL, p = 0.62). Our results suggest that peritransplant IA is an effective strategy for rapid desensitization in deceased donor transplantation.