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Immunologic monitoring in transplantation revisited

Cravedi, Paoloa; Heeger, Peter S.a,b,c

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: February 2012 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 26–32
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e32834ee402
MECHANISMS OF REJECTION: Edited by Mohamed H. Sayegh Nader Najafian

Purpose of review Tailoring immunosuppressive drugs to an individual's needs is crucial to improve long-term outcomes of organ transplant patients. The purpose of this review is to summarize the data on promising biomarkers able to detect the risk of acute or chronic rejection and to discuss the potential issues for their implementation in the clinic.

Recent findings Multiple publications have indicated that circulating antibodies targeting human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and non-HLA antigens as well as donor-specific memory T cells are associated with accelerated graft failure. Other studies published within the year show that specific genomic and proteomic signatures obtained from urine, blood, and graft tissue correlate with acute rejection in kidney and heart transplant patients.

Summary The development of reliable biomarkers is crucial for individualizing therapy aimed at extending allograft survival and improving patient health. Emerging data indicate that monitoring assays, likely used in panels, have the potential to be diagnostic and possibly predictive of long-term outcome. In addition to ongoing discovery efforts, progress in the field will require multicenter validation, assay standardization, and commercialization so as to efficiently deliver reliable testing strategies to the practicing clinician.

aRenal Division, Department of Medicine

bRecanati Miller Transplant Institute

cImmunology Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Peter S. Heeger, MD, Professor of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, Annenberg Building Box 1243, New York, NY 10029, USA. Tel: +1 212 241 6324; fax: +1 212 978 0389; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.