349 results
349 results
  • Thammanichanond D
  • Tammakorn C
  • Ingsathit A
  • Worawichawong S
  • Sangkum P
BMC Nephrol. 2022 May 17;23(1):187 doi: 10.1186/s12882-022-02807-6.

Patients who are HLA-sensitized are at high risk for early antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and worse outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to detect the presence of donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) using pretransplant antibody identification and crossmatch assays. An error in antibody identification can lead to disastrous clinical outcomes. We present a case of acute AMR associated with preformed HLA-DPα and HLA-DPβ DSAs that were not identified before transplantation.


A 27-year-old woman received a second kidney transplant from a deceased donor. Her pretransplant panel-reactive antibody level was 94%. The complement-dependent cytotoxicity crossmatch was negative for T and B cells at the time of transplantation. She experienced early acute AMR proven by a kidney biopsy. Single antigen bead testing of the patient's serum at the time of rejection as well as the pre-second transplant serum revealed strong antibodies against the DPA1*01:03 and DPB1*02:01 alleles in the second donor. These antibodies were not identified by phenotypic bead assay during the patient's time on the waiting list. The patient was treated with plasmapheresis and anti-thymocyte globulin. However, she experienced abdominal pain on day 37 post-transplantation. Surgical exploration revealed a laceration on the transplanted kidney, which was then repaired. Subsequently, infected hematoma was suspected and the transplanted kidney was removed.


The present case highlights the clinical significance of preformed HLA-DPα and HLA-DPβ DSAs. Accuracy in determination of HLA antibodies before transplantattion is critical for transplant outcome. HLA-DP typing and single antigen bead testing are recommended for a precise antibody interpretation, especially in highly sensitized patients. Careful interpretation of antibody testing results is essential for the success of organ transplantation.

  • Phillpott M
  • Daga S
  • Higgins R
  • Lowe D
  • Krishnan N
  • et al.
Transpl Int. 2022 Apr 11;35:10128 doi: 10.3389/ti.2022.10128.

In HLA-incompatible kidney transplantation, monitoring donor-specific antibodies (DSA) plays a crucial role in providing appropriate treatment and increases kidney survival times. This work aimed to determine if early post-transplant DSA dynamics inform graft outcome over and above other predictive factors. Eighty-eight cases were classified by unsupervised machine learning into five distinct DSA response groups: no response, fast modulation, slow modulation, rise to sustained and sustained. Fast modulation dynamics gave an 80% rate for early acute rejection, whereas the sustained group was associated with the lowest rejection rates (19%). In complete contrast, the five-year graft failure was lowest in the modulation groups (4-7%) and highest in the sustained groups (25-31%). Multivariable analysis showed that a higher pre-treatment DSA level, male gender and absence of early acute rejection were strongly associated with a sustained DSA response. The modulation group had excellent five-year outcomes despite higher rates of early rejection episodes. This work further develops an understanding of post-transplant DSA dynamics and their influence on graft survival following HLA-incompatible kidney transplantation.

  • Wojciechowski E
  • Jambon F
  • Cargou M
  • Guidicelli G
  • Merville P
  • et al.
Transplantation. 2022 Apr 1;106(4):869-878 doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003822.

Highly sensitized (HS) anti-HLA patients awaiting kidney transplantation benefit from specific allocation programs. Serological monitoring at 3-mo intervals is recommended to prevent unexpected positive crossmatch (XM), but this strategy is not evidence-based. Therefore, we assessed its relevance when using single-antigen flow bead (SAFB) and screening flow bead (SFB) assays.


We included 166 HS patients awaiting a transplant and assessed their SAFB profile during the year preceding their inclusion. Anti-HLA antibodies were evaluated by SAFB assay and compared within patients as serum pairs at 3, 6, and 9 mo. We assessed the performance of SFB for detecting changes in SAFB profiles with 35 serum pairs.


On comparing 354, 218, and 107 serum pairs at 3, 6, and 9 mo, respectively, only 0.6%, 0.7%, and 1% of all antigens tested exceeded for the first time the unacceptable antigen threshold (mean fluorescence intensity ≥2000) in the most recent sample. Irrespective of the follow-up period, the calculated panel-reactive antibodies increased by a mean of 1%, and there was no significant increase in the proportion of donors at risk for positivity of flow- or complement-dependent cytotoxicity XM. The SFB did not accurately detect the variations of SAFB profiles.


Changes in HS patient profiles are anecdotal and show little association with transplant access or risk for positive XM. Less-frequent monitoring in HS patients should be considered to improve cost-effectiveness without affecting transplant safety.

  • Huang E
  • Maldonado AQ
  • Kjellman C
  • Jordan SC
Am J Transplant. 2022 Mar;22(3):691-697 doi: 10.1111/ajt.16828.

The IgG-degrading enzyme derived from Streptococcus pyogenes (Imlifidase, Hansa Biopharma) is a novel agent that cleaves all four human subclasses of IgG and has therapeutic potential for HLA desensitization in kidney transplantation and antibody-mediated rejection. Data from clinical trials in kidney transplantation demonstrated rapid degradation of anti-HLA donor-specific antibodies facilitating HLA-incompatible transplantation, which led to conditional approval of imlifidase by the European Medicines Agency for desensitization in kidney transplant recipients of a deceased donor with a positive cross match. Important considerations arising from the early experiences with imilfidase on kinetics of donor-specific antibodies after administration, timing of complementary therapeutic monoclonal or polyclonal IgG antibodies, and interference with cross match assays should be recognized as imlifidase emerges as a therapeutic agent for clinical transplantation.

  • Jouve T
  • Laheurte C
  • Noble J
  • Weinhard J
  • Daligault M
  • et al.
Am J Transplant. 2022 Jan;22(1):71-84 doi: 10.1111/ajt.16709.

Kidney transplant candidates (KTCs) who are HLA highly sensitized (calculated panel-reactive alloantibodies >95%) have poor access to deceased kidney transplantation. In this single-center prospective study, 13 highly sensitized desensitization-naïve KTCs received IV tocilizumab (8 mg/kg) every 4 weeks. We evaluated tolerability as well as immune responses, that is, T cell, B cell, T follicular helper (Tfh) subsets, blood cytokines (IL-6, soluble IL-6 receptor-sIL-6R-, IL-21), blood chemokines (CXCL10, CXCL13), and anti-HLA alloantibodies. Tocilizumab treatment was well-tolerated except in one patient who presented spondylodiscitis, raising a note of caution. Regarding immune parameters, there were no significant changes of percentages of lymphocyte subsets, that is, CD3+ , CD3+ /CD4+ , CD3+ /CD8+ T cells, and NK cells. This was also the case for Tfh cell subsets, B cells, mature B cells, plasma cells, pre-germinal center (GC) B cells, and post-GC B cells, whereas we observed a significant increase in naïve B cells (p = .02) and a significant decrease in plasmablasts (p = .046) over the tocilizumab treatment course. CXCL10, CXCL13, IL-21, total IgG, IgA, and IgM levels did not significantly change during tocilizumab therapy; conversely, there was a significant increase in IL-6 levels (p = .03) and a huge increase in sIL-6R (p = .00004). There was a marginal effect on anti-HLA alloantibodies (class I and class II). To conclude in highly sensitized KTCs, tocilizumab as a monotherapy limited B cell maturation; however, it had almost no effect on anti-HLA alloantibodies.

  • Truffot A
  • Jouve T
  • Noble J
  • Bardy B
  • Malvezzi P
  • et al.
J Clin Med. 2021 Dec 24;11(1) doi: 10.3390/jcm11010091.

The presence of anti-HLA antibodies is an increasing challenge in kidney transplantation. Tocilizumab (TCZ), a monoclonal antibody targeting the interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), has been proposed to complement conventional desensitization therapy. We aimed to describe TCZ plasma trough concentrations and their variability and to investigate the link between TCZ concentration and the evolution of anti-HLA antibodies. Sensitized kidney-transplant candidates treated monthly with TCZ (8 mg/kg) for desensitization were retrospectively included. TCZ concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Seventy-four TCZ concentrations from 10 patients were analyzed. The TCZ trough concentration ranged from <1.0 to 52.5 mg·L-1, with a median of 25.6 mg·L-1 [25th-75th percentiles: 13.2-35.3 mg·L-1). The inter- and intra-individual coefficients of variation were 55.0% and 33.0%, respectively. The TCZ trough concentration was not related to IL-6 (rho = -0.46, p = 0.792), soluble IL-6R (rho = -0.81, p = 0.65) concentrations or reduction of anti-HLA antibodies (mixed-effects model adjusting, effect of TCZ trough concentration: rho = -0.004, p = 0.26). The individual median TCZ concentration tended to be associated with the number of antibodies, with an initial MFI > 3000 that dropped to <3000 after TCZ treatment (rho = 0.397, p = 0.083). TCZ trough concentrations in kidney-transplant candidates treated for desensitization were highly variable. Further studies on larger cohorts are needed to study the possible link between TCZ concentrations and the reduction of anti-HLA antibodies.

  • Kälble F
  • Süsal C
  • Pego da Silva L
  • Speer C
  • Benning L
  • et al.
Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Dec 17;8:781491 doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.781491.

Due to the current organ shortage, living donor kidney transplantation is increasingly performed across HLA (human leukocyte antigen) or ABO antibody barriers. There is still uncertainty about the risk of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) episodes, which may limit long-term graft survival. From March 2007 to December 2016, 58 sensitized living donor kidney transplant candidates were identified and 38 patients eventually included in the study: 36 patients (95%) had pre-transplant and pre-desensitization Luminex-detected donor-specific HLA antibodies (DSA), and 17/36 patients (47%) in addition had a positive crossmatch result. Two patients had no detectable DSA but a positive CDC B-cell crossmatch result. Patients were treated with pre- and post-transplant apheresis and powerful immunosuppression including the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab (N = 36) in combination with thymoglobulin (N = 20) or anti-IL2 receptor antibody (N = 18). The results of the 38 successfully desensitized and transplanted patients were retrospectively compared to the results of 76 matched standard-risk recipients. Desensitized patients showed patient and graft survival rates similar to that of standard-risk recipients (P = 0.55 and P = 0.16, respectively). There was a trend toward reduced death-censored graft survival in desensitized patients (P = 0.053) which, however, disappeared when the 34 patients who were transplanted after introduction of sensitive Luminex testing were analyzed (P = 0.43). The incidence of rejection episodes without borderline changes were in desensitized patients with 21% similar to the 18% in standard-risk patients (P = 0.74). Thirty-six patients had pre-transplant HLA class I and/or II DSA that were reduced by 85 and 81%, respectively, during pre-transplant desensitization (P < 0.001 for both). On day 360 after transplantation, 20 of 36 (56%) patients had lost their DSA. The overall AMR rate was 6% in these patients, but as high as 60% in 5 (14%) patients with persistent and de novo DSA during year 1; 2 (40%) of whom lost their graft due to AMR. Eleven (31%) patients with persistent DSA but without de novo DSA had an AMR rate of 18% without graft loss while one patient lost her graft without signs of AMR. Our desensitization protocol for pre-sensitized living donor kidney transplant recipients with DSA resulted in good graft outcomes with side effects and rejection rates similar to that of standard-risk recipients. Adequate patient selection prior to transplantation and frequent immunological monitoring thereafter is critical to minimize rejection episodes and subsequent graft loss.

  • Osickova K
  • Hruba P
  • Kabrtova K
  • Klema J
  • Maluskova J
  • et al.
Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Dec 14;8:780636 doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.780636.

Recipient sensitization is a major risk factor of antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) and inferior graft survival. The predictive effect of solid-phase human leukocyte antigen antibody testing and flow cytometry crossmatch (FCXM) in the era of peritransplant desensitization remains poorly understood. This observational retrospective single-center study with 108 donor-specific antibody (DSA)-positive deceased donor kidney allograft recipients who had undergone peritransplant desensitization aimed to analyze variables affecting graft outcome. ABMR rates were highest among patients with positive pretransplant FCXM vs. FCXM-negative (76 vs. 18.7%, p < 0.001) and with donor-specific antibody mean fluorescence intensity (DSA MFI) > 5,000 vs. <5,000 (54.5 vs. 28%, p = 0.01) despite desensitization. In univariable Cox regression, FCXM positivity, retransplantation, recipient gender, immunodominant DSA MFI, DSA number, and peak panel reactive antibodies were found to be associated with ABMR occurrence. In multivariable Cox regression adjusted for desensitization treatment (AUC = 0.810), only FCXM positivity (HR = 4.6, p = 0.001) and DSA number (HR = 1.47, p = 0.039) remained significant. In conclusion, our data suggest that pretransplant FCXM and DSA number, but not DSA MFI, are independent predictors of ABMR in patients who received peritransplant desensitization.

  • Kjellman C
  • Maldonado AQ
  • Sjöholm K
  • Lonze BE
  • Montgomery RA
  • et al.
Am J Transplant. 2021 Dec;21(12):3907-3918 doi: 10.1111/ajt.16754.

Imlifidase is a cysteine proteinase which specifically cleaves IgG, inhibiting Fc-mediated effector function within hours of administration. Imlifidase converts a positive crossmatch to a potential donor (T cell, B cell, or both), to negative, enabling transplantation to occur between previously HLA incompatible donor-recipient pairs. To date, 39 crossmatch positive patients received imlifidase prior to a kidney transplant in four single-arm, open-label, phase 2 studies. At 3 years, for patients who were AMR+ compared to AMR-, death-censored allograft survival was 93% vs 77%, patient survival was 85% vs 94%, and mean eGFR was 49 ml/min/1.73 m2 vs 61 ml/min/1.73 m2 , respectively. The incidence of AMR was 38% with most episodes occurring within the first month post-transplantation. Sub-analysis of patients deemed highly sensitized with cPRA ≥ 99.9%, and unlikely to be transplanted who received crossmatch-positive, deceased donor transplants had similar rates of patient survival, graft survival, and eGFR but a higher rate of AMR. These data demonstrate that outcomes and safety up to 3 years in recipients of imlifidase-enabled allografts is comparable to outcomes in other highly sensitized patients undergoing HLA-incompatible transplantation. Thus, imlifidase is a potent option to facilitate transplantation among patients who have a significant immunologic barrier to successful kidney transplantation. Clinical Trial: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02790437), EudraCT Number: 2016-002064-13.

  • Tang C
  • Unterrainer C
  • Fink A
  • Cinca S
  • Ruhenstroth A
  • et al.
Hla. 2021 Nov;98(5):423-430 doi: 10.1111/tan.14422.

HLA matching and avoidance of unacceptable mismatches are important aspects in the selection of donors for solid organ transplantation. The impact of HLA-DPB1 incompatibility on the outcomes of kidney transplantation is not fully understood. We investigated a potential effect of mismatching for HLA-DPB1 at allele, eplet, or Terasaki epitope (TerEp) level on the formation of de novo donor-specific antibodies (dnDSA) and also asked whether polymorphisms associated with HLA-DPB1 expression level may influence dnDSA induction. Furthermore, we analyzed the correlation between graft survival and HLA-DPB1 mismatches defined by different approaches. A cohort of 366 patients who received a kidney transplant at the Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany, with availability of pre- and post-transplant HLA antibody results by single antigen testing as well as of donor and recipient HLA-DPB1 high-resolution typing were analyzed retrospectively. Susceptibility to increased HLA-DPB1 expression was predicted by the linked dimorphism rs9277534 A/G of the HLA-DPB1 gene. Neither HLA-DPB1 mismatches at allele, eplet or TerEp level nor exposure to donor's high HLA-DPB1 expression were significantly associated with the risk of developing dnDSA against HLA-DPB1. However, HLA-DPB1 eplet and TerEp mismatches had a significant negative impact on graft survival (p < 0.001 and p = 0.003, respectively). Matching for HLA-DPB1 at epitope instead of allele level appears to have potential to improve graft survival in kidney transplantation.