The review outlines the diagnosis, clinical implications, and treatment strategies for acute and chronic antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).
A combination of clinical work-up, histopathology, C4d staining, and donor-specific antibody (DSA) should be used to diagnose AMR. The differential diagnosis for idiopathic fibrosis now includes chronic AMR. Characterization of pathogenic DSA continues to progress. De-novo and persistent DSA, particularly of the IgG3 subtype, are associated with inferior long-term outcomes.
The liver allograft may confer long-term immunologic benefits to the kidney allograft after simultaneous liver-kidney transplant.
The more widespread use of rituximab has improved outcomes in ABO-incompatible OLT.
Although larger long-term studies of treatment options are needed, compliance with tacrolimus-based immunosuppression and transfusion minimization are agreed upon preventive strategies.
AMR has evolved into an established pathology in OLT recipients. Acute AMR may lead to early graft loss whereas chronic AMR results in progressive fibrosis if unrecognized. DSAs, likely in the setting of predisposing environmental factors, appear to play a role in T cell–mediated rejection and long-term graft outcomes.
The Division of Hepatobiliary, Pancreas, and Abdominal Organ Transplant, Department of Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
Correspondence to Rachel Hogen, MD, Division of Surgical Education, Keck School of Medicine of USC, University of Southern California, 1520 San Pablo Street, HCT 4300, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA. Tel: +1 818 601 1260; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org