It is estimated that 19.2% of kidneys exported for candidates with >98% calculated panel reactive antibodies are transplanted into unintended recipients, most commonly due to positive physical crossmatch (PXM). We describe the application of a virtual crossmatch (VXM) that has resulted in a very low rate of transplantation into unintended recipients.
We performed a retrospective review of kidneys imported to our center to assess the reasons driving late reallocation based on the type of pretransplant crossmatch used for the intended recipient.
From December 2014 to October 2017, 254 kidneys were imported based on our assessment of a VXM. Of these, 215 (84.6%) were transplanted without a pretransplant PXM. The remaining 39 (15.4%) recipients required a PXM on admission using a new sample because they did not have an HLA antibody test within the preceding 3 months or because they had a recent blood transfusion. A total of 93% of the imported kidneys were transplanted into intended recipients. There were 18 late reallocations: 9 (3.5%) due to identification of a new recipient medical problem upon admission, 5 (2%) due to suboptimal organ quality on arrival, and only 4 (1.6%) due to a positive PXM or HLA antibody concern. A total of 42% of the recipients of imported kidneys had a 100% calculated panel reactive antibodies. There were no hyperacute rejections and very infrequent acute rejection in the first year suggesting no evidence for immunologic memory response.
Seamless sharing is within reach, even when kidneys are shipped long distances for highly sensitized recipients. Late reallocations can be almost entirely avoided with a strategy that relies heavily on VXM.