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Clinical Relevance of Pretransplant Donor-Directed Antibodies Detected by Single Antigen Beads in Highly Sensitized Renal Transplant Patients

van den Berg-Loonen, Ella M.1,5; Billen, Evy V. A.1; Voorter, Christina E. M.1; van Heurn, L W. Ernest2; Claas, Frans H. J.3; van Hooff, Johannes P.4; Christiaans, Maarten H. L.4

doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31816b3ed1
Original Articles: Rapid Communication

Background. Highly sensitized (HS) patients (>85% panel-reactive antibodies) have a lower chance of receiving a donor kidney. Within Eurotransplant the Acceptable Mismatch (AM) program was developed to increase the chances of HS patients to receive a crossmatch-negative donor kidney. The standard crossmatch in the AM program is based on complement-dependent cytotoxicity.

Methods. In this study we wanted to determine the clinical relevance of human leukocyte antigen donor-directed antibodies (DDA) detected by the single antigen (SA) bead technique, in the pretransplant sera of HS patients transplanted in our center through the Eurotransplant AM program.

Results. From 34 AM patients, 27 were transplanted with 1 to 5 mismatches and 7 received a 0-mismatched graft. From the mismatched patients, retrospectively, 13 proved to possess pretransplant DDA by SA whereas 14 did not. No antibodies were found in the 0-mismatched group. Comparison of the DDA+ and DDA− patients in the human leukocyte antigen-mismatched donor/recipient combinations revealed a trend to an earlier and higher number of rejection episodes in DDA+ patients (P=0.08). No detrimental effect of DDA on graft survival was observed.

Conclusions. This single-center study showed that in the AM program DDA detected by SA, and not by less-sensitive methods, may be related to acute rejection episodes but is not detrimental to long-term graft outcome. These findings question the increasing use of more-sensitive screening techniques for the allocation of organs.

1 Tissue Typing Laboratory, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

2 Department of Surgery, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

3 Department of Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion, LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands.

4 Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

5 Address correspondence to: Prof. Dr. Ella M. van den Berg-Loonen, Ph.D., Tissue Typing Laboratory, University Hospital Maastricht, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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Received 16 August 2007. Revision requested 30 August 2007.

Accepted 25 January 2008.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.