Surgery Publications


Effect of Recipient Sensitization (Peak PRA) on Graft Outcome in Haploidentical Living Related Kidney Transplants

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Clinical Transplantation





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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of pre-transplant recipient sensitization on the outcome of 1-haploidentical live related donor (LRD) kidney transplants.

METHOD: We reviewed 141 consecutive cyclosporine-treated adult haploidentical first transplants for which panel reactive antibody (PRA) levels were available. Patients were divided into three groups according to their peak PRA levels: group I, PRA = 0 (n = 97); group II, PRA = 1-50% (n = 24); and group III, PRA = 51-100% (n = 20).

RESULTS: Differences in PRA were associated with significant differences in short- and longer-term graft survival, unrelated to patient survival. Graft survival at 1, 3, and 5 yr was only 74, 40, and 27% in group III, compared to 92, 87, and 52% in group II, and 96, 91, and 85% in group I (p < 0.001). Increasing PRA was associated with shorter time-to-graft failure. In group III, 20% lost their transplant from acute rejection in the first 6 months, versus 4% in group II and 3% in group I (p < 0.01). Graft survival in group II diverged from that of group I only after 3 yr, due to an increase in loss from chronic rejection. Hospitalization was longer in group III, in association with a significantly higher incidence of acute rejection during the first 3 months after transplantation (p < 0.02). Serum creatinine was higher in sensitized than nonsensitized patients at all time points.

CONCLUSIONS: Sensitization has a significant negative impact on the outcome of haploidentical LRD kidney transplants. Sensitized potential recipients and their potential donors should be aware of this in arriving at informed decision-making for transplantation. These patients may benefit from more sensitive cross-match testing, more intense or more novel immunosuppression, or immunomodulation to modify their immune responsiveness.


Dr. Vivian McAlister is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.

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