Immortal Time-Bias-Corrected Survival of Highly Sensitized Patients and HLA-desensitized Kidney Transplant Recipients
Kidney Int Rep. 2021 Aug 2;6(10):2629-2638 doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2021.07.024.
In the setting of kidney transplantation (KT), we assessed the efficacy of desensitization and compared the survival of desensitized patients (HLA-incompatible KT) with similarly sensitized patients receiving HLA-compatible KT or sensitized patients still on a waiting list after adjusting for the usually unaccounted immortal time bias.METHODS:
All patients in a French KT center on the waiting list between August 1994 and December 2019 with a high level of sensitization (panel-reactive antibodies [PRAs] ≥80%) were included. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. A time-varying covariate Cox survival model was used to account for the immortal time bias. A landmark analysis was used as a sensitivity analysis.RESULTS:
During the study period, 326 patients with high PRAs were followed, among which 147 (45%) remained on the waiting list at the time of last follow-up and 179 benefited from a KT. Thirty-six patients were desensitized, of which 30 received a kidney transplant, including eight deceased kidney donors. There were no differences in mortality rates between desensitized KT patients, nondesensitized KT patients, and waitlisted patients after adjusting for immortal time bias (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.48, P = 0.22). Death-censored graft survival was similar between desensitized and nondesensitized KT patients (HR = 0.92, P = 0.88 adjusting for donor age >65 years, donor status, and time on the waiting list). Mean estimated glomerular filtration rate at 1 year post-KT was similar for desensitized KT patients (53.3 ± 21 vs. 53.6 ± 21 ml/min per 1.73 m2 for nondesensitized patients; P = 0.95).CONCLUSIONS:
HLA-desensitization was effective for highly sensitized patients and gave access to KT without detrimental effects on patient or graft survival rates.
Desensitization Regimen Consisting of High-Dose Intravenous Immunoglobulin, Plasmapheresis, and Rituximab (an Anti-CD20 Antibody), Without Eculizumab and/or Bortezomib, in 41 Highly Sensitized Kidney Transplant Recipients
Exp Clin Transplant. 2021 Oct;19(10):1032-1040 doi: 10.6002/ect.2021.0234.
Antibody-mediated rejection in patients with positive crossmatches can be severe and result in sudden onset of oliguria, leading to graft loss. In an attempt to prevent posttransplant oliguria, we adopted a preoperative desensitization protocol involving the use of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin/plasmapheresis and the anti-CD20 antibody, rituximab, in 41 transplant recipients with positive crossmatch test results.MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We retrospectively examined the clinical courses of the 41 kidney transplant recipients, paying special attention to renal graft function, urine volume, and changes in the titers of donor-specific antibodies.RESULTS:
Four grafts were lost during an average of 4.5-year follow-up. Average graft function was excellent, with a serum creatinine level of 1.3 ± 0.4 mg/dL. Sufficient urine output, with no oliguria or anuria, was achieved postoperatively in 40 of the 41 patients. However, among the 34 patients who underwent graft biopsies, the biopsies revealed acute antibody-mediated rejection in 21 patients (62%), and chronic antibodymediated rejection in 10 patients (30%).CONCLUSIONS:
The high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin treatment included in our desensitization protocol was shown to be safe and effective for achieving successful transplant outcomes and allowed the avoidance of more aggressive B-cell-targeted treatments, such as C5 inhibitors and/or proteosome inhibitors, for preventing posttransplant oliguria and anuria.
Outcome of desensitization in human leukocyte antigen and ABO incompatible living donor kidney transplantation: Single center experience of first 200 incompatible transplants
J Clin Apher. 2021 Jun;36(3):299-312 doi: 10.1002/jca.21860.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Although desensitization is well established, concerns about graft outcome, patient survival and rejection still exist. The present study aims at comparing outcomes of renal transplant recipients across simultaneous ABO and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) incompatibility barriers to those with ABO or HLA incompatibility alone.MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This was a retrospective study conducted from October 2015 to December 2018. All patients with a clinical diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, who were prospective HLA incompatible (HLAi) and/or ABO incompatible (ABOi) renal transplant recipients were included. A total of 400 cases including 36 ABOi transplants, 154 HLAi transplants, 10 simultaneously ABO and HLA incompatible transplants, and 200 ABO (ABOc) and HLA (HLAc) compatible kidney transplants from living donors were included.RESULTS:
There were significantly more number of blood transfusions, previous transplants and pregnancies in HLAi transplant recipients relative to the ABOi or the control group. Mean number of therapeutic plasma exchange procedures per patient and mean plasma volume processed per procedure were slightly higher in the ABOi + HLAi category. The incidence of graft dysfunction due to suspected antibody-mediated rejection during first year was highest in the ABOi + HLAi group, followed by ABOc + HLAi and ABOi + HLAc, lowest in the ABOc + HLAc category. Mean time to first episode of graft dysfunction was significantly shorter with incompatible transplants. There were no kidney transplant recipient deaths in the study.CONCLUSION:
Patient outcome and graft outcomes observed with incompatible transplants were not worse than those observed with compatible transplants.
Removal of Anti-Thymocyte Globulin by Plasma Exchange in ABO-Incompatible and Positive Crossmatch Kidney Transplant Recipients
Transplant Proc. 2021 Jun;53(5):1548-1553 doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2021.01.010.
Recipients of ABO-incompatible (ABOI) and positive crossmatch (PXM) kidney transplants are at high risk for antibody-mediated acute rejection. Despite aggressive immunosuppression in high-risk patients, the incidence of acute rejection remains considerably higher than in other groups. No published studies have examined plasma concentrations of anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) in patients undergoing plasma exchange. The objectives of this study were to compare plasma ATG concentrations before and after plasma exchange in ABOI and PXM kidney transplant patients to determine the amount removed.MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This prospective pharmacokinetic evaluation enrolled 10 patients undergoing ABOI or PXM kidney transplant at an academic medical center. Blood and waste plasma samples from 5 patients were assayed for total and active ATG concentrations. Patient records were monitored for renal function and rejection rates in the first 6 months post-transplant.RESULTS:
Total ATG concentrations decreased a mean of 59.78 ± 13.91% after each plasma exchange session, and active ATG levels decreased a mean of 56.8 ± 17.08%. Mean daily concentrations reflect a lack of expected ATG accumulation. Only 1 of 4 patients had detectable ATG concentrations after 30 days. After 6 months, the incidence of acute rejection in this sample was 44% and graft survival was 89%.CONCLUSIONS:
This is the first study to show that plasma exchange removes a substantial amount of ATG in high-risk kidney transplant patients. Based on these results, we believe these high-risk patients have been traditionally underdosed.
HLA Antibody Incompatible Renal Transplantation: Long-term Outcomes Similar to Deceased Donor Transplantation
Transplant Direct. 2021 Jul 19;7(8):e732 doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000001183.
HLA incompatible renal transplantation still remains one of best therapeutic options for a subgroup of patients who are highly sensitized and difficult to match but not much is known about its long-term graft and patient survival.METHODS:
One hundred thirty-four HLA incompatible renal transplantation patients from 2003 to 2018 with a median follow of 6.93 y were analyzed retrospectively to estimate patient and graft survivals. Outcomes were compared with groups defined by baseline crossmatch status and the type and timings of rejection episodes.RESULTS:
The overall patient survival was 95%, 90%, and 81%; and graft survival was 95%, 85%, and 70% at 1, 5, and 10 y, respectively. This was similar to the first-time deceased donor transplant cohort. The graft survival for pretreatment cytotoxic-dependent crossmatch (CDC) positive crossmatch group was significantly low at 83%, 64%, and 40% at 1, 5, and 10 y, respectively, compared with other groups (Bead/CDC, P = 0.007; CDC/Flow, P = 0.001; and microbead assay/flow cytometry crossmatch, P = 0.837), although those with a low CDC titer (<1 in 2) have comparable outcomes to the CDC negative group. Female patients in general fared worse in both patient and graft survival outcomes in each of the 3 groups based on pretreatment crossmatch, although this did not reach statistical significance. Antibody-mediated rejection was the most frequent type of rejection with significant decline in graft survival by 10 y when compared with no rejection (P < 0.001). Rejection that occurred or continued to occur after the first 2 wk of transplantation caused a significant reduction in graft survivals (P < 0.001), whereas good outcomes were seen in those with a single early rejection episode.CONCLUSIONS:
One-, 5-, and 10-y HLA incompatible graft and patient survival is comparable to deceased donor transplantation and can be further improved by excluding high-CDC titer cases. Antibody-positive female patients show worse long-term survival. Resolution of early rejection is associated with good long-term graft survival.
Marginal Impact of Tocilizumab Monotherapy on Anti-HLA Alloantibodies in Highly Sensitized Kidney Transplant Candidates
Transplant Direct. 2021 Apr 22;7(5):e690 doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000001139.
Highly HLA-sensitized kidney transplant candidates are difficult to desensitize, which reduces their chances of receiving a transplant.METHODS:
We administered tocilizumab as a monotherapy (8 mg/kg once a mo) to 14 highly sensitized kidney transplant candidates. Highest mean fluorescence intensities of anti-HLA antibodies obtained before and after tocilizumab administration were compared from raw and diluted sera.RESULTS:
The administration of tocilizumab significantly reduced dominant anti-HLA antibody sensitization. However, this decrease in mean fluorescence intensities was minor compared with the initial values.CONCLUSIONS:
Tocilizumab as a monotherapy was not sufficient to allow highly sensitized kidney-transplant candidates to undergo transplantation and, therefore, was not an effective desensitization method.
Presence of a survival benefit of HLA-incompatible living donor kidney transplantation compared to waiting or HLA-compatible deceased donor kidney transplantation with a long waiting time
Kidney Int. 2021 Jul;100(1):206-214 doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2021.01.027.
HLA-incompatible living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) is one of efforts to increase kidney transplantation opportunity for sensitized patients with kidney failure. However, there are conflicting reports for outcomes of HLA-incompatible kidney transplantation compared to patients who wait for HLA-compatible deceased donor kidney transplantation (DDKT) in the United States and United Kingdom. Waiting for an HLA-compatible DDKT is relatively disadvantageous in Korea, because the average waiting time is more than five years. To study this further, we compared outcomes of HLA-incompatible LDKT with those who wait for HLA-compatible DDKT in Korea. One hundred eighty nine patients underwent HLA-incompatible LDKT after desensitization between 2006 and 2018 in two Korean hospitals (42 with a positive complement-dependent cytotoxicity cross-match, 89 with a positive flow cytometric cross-match, and 58 with a positive donor-specific antibody with negative cross-match). The distribution of matched variables was comparable between the HLA-incompatible LDKT group and the matched control groups (waiting-list-only group; and the waiting-list-or-HLA-compatible-DDKT groups; 930 patients each). The HLA-incompatible LDKT group showed a significantly better patient survival rate compared to the waiting-list-only group and the waiting-list-or-HLA-compatible-DDKT groups. Furthermore, the HLA-incompatible LDKT group showed a significant survival benefit as compared with the matched groups at all strength of donor-specific antibodies. Thus, HLA-incompatible LDKT could have a survival benefit as compared with patients who were waitlisted for HLA-compatible DDKT or received HLA-compatible DDKT in Korea. This suggests that HLA-incompatible LDKT as a good option for sensitized patients with kidney failure in countries with prolonged waiting times for DDKT.
Evaluation of three different laboratory methods to detect preformed human leukocyte antigen antibodies in a South African kidney transplant population
Afr Health Sci. 2021 Jun;21(2):735-742 doi: 10.4314/ahs.v21i2.32.
Anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies (anti-HLA) play a crucial role in graft. Detection of anti-HLA, both pre- and post-transplant is a crucial investigation in clinical organ transplantation.OBJECTIVES:
Three methodologies for the detection of lymphocytotoxic antibodies were compared to establish which of these is best suited to optimise pre-transplant donor-recipient matching.METHODS:
Serum samples from 15 renal transplant patients were tested for the presence of anti-HLA by i) cytotoxic-dependent cross-match (CDCXM), ii) flow cytometric cross-match (FCXM) and iii) Luminex-based donor specific antibody cross-match (DSAXM) method, Confirmatory tests for the presence of preformed HLA antibodies were tested using Luminex methodology.RESULTS:
Two (13%) of the 15 patients had positive HLA Class I antibodies (Ab) using all 3 methods. An additional 2 HLA Class I Ab were identified with FCXM/CDCXM. DSAXM identified 1 HLA Class I positive, not indicated by CDCXM/FCXM.High HLA Class II positivity (40%), identified by CDCXM, while DSAXM and FCXM identified two and one patients, respectively. CDCXM produced 4 false-positive results confirmed by lymphocyte single antigen (LSA) assay.CONCLUSIONS:
The DSAXM method appears to add value in pre-transplantation screening to identify pre-sensitised patients that may not reject the donor graft due to the absence of donor-specific antibodies.
Imlifidase Desensitization in Crossmatch-positive, Highly Sensitized Kidney Transplant Recipients: Results of an International Phase 2 Trial (Highdes)
Transplantation. 2021 Aug 1;105(8):1808-1817 doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003496.
Highly HLA sensitized patients have limited access to life-saving kidney transplantation because of a paucity of immunologically suitable donors. Imlifidase is a cysteine protease that cleaves IgG leading to a rapid decrease in antibody level and inhibition of IgG-mediated injury. This study investigates the efficacy and safety of imlifidase in converting a positive crossmatch test to negative, allowing highly sensitized patients to be transplanted with a living or deceased donor kidney.METHODS:
This open-label, single-arm, phase 2 trial conducted at 5 transplant centers, evaluated the ability of imlifidase to create a negative crossmatch test within 24 h. Secondary endpoints included postimlifidase donor-specific antibody levels compared with predose levels, renal function, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profiles. Safety endpoints included adverse events and immunogenicity profile.RESULTS:
Of the transplanted patients, 89.5% demonstrated conversion of baseline positive crossmatch to negative within 24 h after imlifidase treatment. Donor-specific antibodies most often rebounded 3-14 d postimlifidase dose, with substantial interpatient variability. Patient survival was 100% with graft survival of 88.9% at 6 mo. With this, 38.9% had early biopsy proven antibody-mediated rejection with onset 2-19 d posttransplantation. Serum IgG levels began to normalize after ~3-7 d posttransplantation. Antidrug antibody levels were consistent with previous studies. Seven adverse events in 6 patients were classified as possibly or probably related to treatment and were mild-moderate in severity.CONCLUSIONS:
Imlifidase was well tolerated, converted positive crossmatches to negative, and enabled patients with a median calculated panel-reactive antibody of 99.83% to undergo kidney transplantation resulting in good kidney function and graft survival at 6 mo.
Paired Kidney Exchange in India: Future Potential and Challenges Based on the Experience at a Single Center
Transplantation. 2021 May 1;105(5):929-932 doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003421.