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Keywords:

  • Anti-HLA antibodies;
  • desensitization;
  • paired kidney donation;
  • sensitized patients

Many potential kidney transplant recipients are unable to receive a live donor transplant due to crossmatch or blood type incompatibility. Kidney paired donation increases access to live donor transplantation but has been significantly underutilized. We established a kidney paired donation program including consented incompatible donor/recipient pairs as well as compatible pairs with older non-human leukocyte antigen identical donors. Over a 3-year period, a total of 134 paired donor transplants were performed, including 117 incompatible pairs and 17 compatible pairs. All transplants were done with negative flow cytometry crossmatches and five were done with desensitization combined with paired donation. Kidney paired donation transplants included two-way and three-way exchanges as well as three chains initiated by nondirected donors. Of the sensitized recipients transplanted by paired donation, 44% had calculated panel reactive antibody levels greater than 80%. Transplantation of females and prior transplant recipients was significantly higher with paired donation. Only three episodes of rejection occurred and no transplants were lost due to rejection. These data highlight the potential of kidney paired donation and suggest that all transplant centers should be actively engaged in paired donation to increase access to live donor transplantation.