European Guideline for the Management of Kidney Transplant Patients With HLA Antibodies: By the European Society for Organ Transplantation Working Group

Transpl Int. 2022 Aug 10;35:10511 doi: 10.3389/ti.2022.10511.

This guideline, from a European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT) working group, concerns the management of kidney transplant patients with HLA antibodies. Sensitization should be defined using a virtual parameter such as calculated Reaction Frequency (cRF), which assesses HLA antibodies derived from the actual organ donor population. Highly sensitized patients should be prioritized in kidney allocation schemes and linking allocation schemes may increase opportunities. The use of the ENGAGE 5 ((Bestard et al., Transpl Int, 2021, 34: 1005-1018) system and online calculators for assessing risk is recommended. The Eurotransplant Acceptable Mismatch program should be extended. If strategies for finding a compatible kidney are very unlikely to yield a transplant, desensitization may be considered and should be performed with plasma exchange or immunoadsorption, supplemented with IViG and/or anti-CD20 antibody. Newer therapies, such as imlifidase, may offer alternatives. Few studies compare HLA incompatible transplantation with remaining on the waiting list, and comparisons of morbidity or quality of life do not exist. Kidney paired exchange programs (KEP) should be more widely used and should include unspecified and deceased donors, as well as compatible living donor pairs. The use of a KEP is preferred to desensitization, but highly sensitized patients should not be left on a KEP list indefinitely if the option of a direct incompatible transplant exists.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Clinical Practice Recommendations
KEYWORDS: HLA antibodies; guidelines; incompatible; kidney transplantation; sensitization
MESH HEADINGS: Antibodies; HLA Antigens; Histocompatibility Testing; Humans; Kidney Transplantation; Living Donors; Quality of Life; Waiting Lists