Repository for Antibody Incompatible Transplantation Evidence
4 results (filtered)
  • Jatana SS
  • Zhao H
  • Bow LM
  • Cozzi E
  • Batal I
  • Horak T
  • Amar-Zifkin A
  • Schinstock C
  • Askar M
  • Dadhania DM
  • et al.
Transplantation. 2022 Aug 2; doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000004262.

There is no standard definition for "HLA incompatible" transplants. For the first time, we systematically assessed how HLA incompatibility was defined in contemporary peer-reviewed publications and its prognostic implication to transplant outcomes.


We combined 2 independent searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from 2015 to 2019. Content-expert reviewers screened for original research on outcomes of HLA-incompatible transplants (defined as allele or molecular mismatch and solid-phase or cell-based assays). We ascertained the completeness of reporting on a predefined set of variables assessing HLA incompatibility, therapies, and outcomes. Given significant heterogeneity, we conducted narrative synthesis and assessed risk of bias in studies examining the association between death-censored graft failure and HLA incompatibility.


Of 6656 screened articles, 163 evaluated transplant outcomes by HLA incompatibility. Most articles reported on cytotoxic/flow T-cell crossmatches (n = 98). Molecular genotypes were reported for selected loci at the allele-group level. Sixteen articles reported on epitope compatibility. Pretransplant donor-specific HLA antibodies were often considered (n = 143); yet there was heterogeneity in sample handling, assay procedure, and incomplete reporting on donor-specific HLA antibodies assignment. Induction (n = 129) and maintenance immunosuppression (n = 140) were frequently mentioned but less so rejection treatment (n = 72) and desensitization (n = 70). Studies assessing death-censored graft failure risk by HLA incompatibility were vulnerable to bias in the participant, predictor, and analysis domains.


Optimization of transplant outcomes and personalized care depends on accurate HLA compatibility assessment. Reporting on a standard set of variables will help assess generalizability of research, allow knowledge synthesis, and facilitate international collaboration in clinical trials.

  • Buttigieg J
  • Ali H
  • Sharma A
  • Halawa A
Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2019 Nov 1;34(11):1950-1960 doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfy349.

The presence of pre-formed donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) in kidney transplantation is associated with worse overall outcomes compared with DSA-negative transplantation. A positive complement-dependant cytotoxic crossmatch presents a high immunological risk, while a negative flow cytometry crossmatch is at the lower end of the risk spectrum. Yet, the presence of low-level DSA detected by Luminex alone, that is, positive Luminex and negative flow (PLNF) cytometry crossmatch lacks robust scientific exploration. In this systematic review and pooled analysis, we investigate the glomerular filtration rate, acute rejection (AR), graft survival and patient survival of PLNF transplants compared with DSA-negative transplants. Our analysis identified seven retrospective studies consisting of 429 PLNF transplants and 10 677 DSA-negative transplants. Pooled analysis identified no significant difference in the incidence of AR at 1 year [relative risk (RR) = 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90-2.02, Z = 1.46, P = 0.14, I2 = 0%], graft failure at 1 year (RR = 1.66, 95% CI 0.94-2.94, Z = 1.75, P = 0.08, I2 = 23%), graft failure at 5 years (RR = 1.29, 95% CI 0.90-1.87, Z = 1.38, P = 0.17, I2 = 0%), patient mortality at 1 year (RR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.31-2.56, Z = 0.22, P = 0.82, I2 = 0%) and patient mortality at 5 years (RR = 1.76, 95% CI 0.48-6.48, Z = 0.85, P = 0.39, I2 = 61%). Pooled analysis of graft function was not possible due to insufficient data. Current evidence suggests that low-level DSA detected by Luminex alone does not pose significant risk at least in the short-medium term. Considering the shortage of kidney transplants and the ever-increasing waiting time, the avoidance of PLNF transplants may be unwarranted especially in patients who have been enlisted for a long time.

  • Macklin PS
  • Morris PJ
  • Knight SR
Transplantation. 2014 Oct 27;98(8):794-805 doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000000362.

Rituximab is a B lymphocyte-depleting agent used to treat lymphoma and autoimmune diseases. Recently, it has been used for desensitization therapy in ABO-incompatible and highly sensitized recipients undergoing renal transplantation.


A systematic review was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Four databases and three trial registries were searched for studies comparing rituximab with non-rituximab desensitization protocols. A lack of randomized evidence precluded meta-analysis, and thus a narrative review was conducted.


Forty-five records met the inclusion criteria, relating to 21 individual studies (two randomized controlled trials and 19 retrospective cohort studies). Ten studies investigated the use of rituximab in ABO-incompatible patients; most found no significant differences in patient and graft outcomes when compared most frequently to splenectomy-based protocols. Nine studies of limited quality focused on highly sensitized recipients (positive cross-match, donor-specific antibody, and elevated panel reactive antibody) and demonstrated some benefits in graft survival, acute and chronic rejection, and sensitization levels with rituximab. The remaining two studies combined ABO-incompatible and highly sensitized recipients and found no statistically significant increase in infectious complications with rituximab.


Evidence of limited quality was identified to support the use of rituximab desensitization in highly sensitized recipients. Among ABO-incompatible recipients, rituximab was found to be equivalent to splenectomy, indicating that this invasive surgical procedure is not necessary. Further randomized controlled trials are required to better define the efficacy, long-term safety, and optimal dosing regimen of rituximab in this setting.

  • Mohan S
  • Palanisamy A
  • Tsapepas D
  • Tanriover B
  • Crew RJ
  • Dube G
  • Ratner LE
  • Cohen DJ
  • Radhakrishnan J
J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Dec;23(12):2061-71 doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012070664.

The effect of low titers of donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) detected only by sensitive solid-phase assays (SPAs) on renal transplant outcomes is unclear. We report the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of rejection rates and graft outcomes for renal transplant recipients with such preformed DSAs, defined by positive results on SPA but negative complement-dependent cytotoxicity and flow cytometry crossmatch results. Our search identified seven retrospective cohort studies comprising a total of 1119 patients, including 145 with isolated DSA-SPA. Together, these studies suggest that the presence of DSA-SPA, despite a negative flow cytometry crossmatch result, nearly doubles the risk for antibody-mediated rejection (relative risk [RR], 1.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-2.89; P<0.001) and increases the risk for graft failure by 76% (RR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.13-2.74; P=0.01). These results suggest that donor selection should consider the presence of antibodies in the recipient, identified by the SPA, even in the presence of a negative flow cytometry crossmatch result.