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Keywords:

  • Chemokines;
  • immune monitoring;
  • kidney transplantation;
  • pediatric

Renal transplant recipients require periodic surveillance for immune-based complications such as rejection and infection. Noninvasive monitoring methods are preferred, particularly for children, for whom invasive testing is problematic. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of adult and pediatric transplant recipients to determine whether a urine-based chemokine assay could noninvasively identify patients with rejection among other common clinical diagnoses. Urine was collected from 110 adults and 46 children with defined clinical conditions: healthy volunteers, stable renal transplant recipients, and recipients with clinical or subclinical acute rejection (AR) or BK infection (BKI), calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) toxicity or interstitial fibrosis (IFTA). Urine was analyzed using a solid-phase bead-array assay for the interferon gamma-induced chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10. We found that urine CXCL9 and CXCL10 were markedly elevated in adults and children experiencing either AR or BKI (p = 0.0002), but not in stable allograft recipients or recipients with CNI toxicity or IFTA. The sensitivity and specificity of these chemokine assays exceeded that of serum creatinine. Neither chemokine distinguished between AR and BKI. These data show that urine chemokine monitoring identifies patients with renal allograft inflammation. This assay may be useful for noninvasively distinguishing those allograft recipients requiring more intensive surveillance from those with benign clinical courses.