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Int Urol Nephrol. 2012 Oct;44(5):1563-70. doi: 10.1007/s11255-012-0231-z. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation in elderly patients over 60 years of age.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3, Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.



Patients aged 60 years and older represent the fastest-growing population with end-stage renal disease worldwide, and the need for a kidney transplant among this population is increasing. Due to the severe shortage of deceased donors in Japan, ABO-incompatible living donor kidney transplantation has been performed since the late 1980s. Excellent long-term outcomes have been achieved, and the rates of graft survival in these patients are currently similar to those in recipients of ABO-compatible grafts. However, the outcomes of ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation in elderly patients over 60 years of age have not been well studied yet.


We studied 4 elderly kidney transplant patients who received their grafts from ABO-incompatible living donors at our institution between December 2006 and December 2011, focusing on the immunosuppressive protocols, complications and graft survivals. The mean observation period was 21.5 months (range, 8 months to 62 months). Our immunosuppressive protocols were as follows: to remove the anti-A/B antibodies, the patients underwent 4-8 sessions of double-filtration plasmapheresis and/or plasma exchange prior to kidney transplantation until the anti-A/B titers were less than 1:16. For the patients with low anti-A/B titers (<1:512), the immunosuppressive protocol consisted of a single dose of rituximab (150 mg/m(2)). The patients with high anti-A/B antibody titers (≥1:512) underwent splenectomy and received 2 doses of rituximab. The pretransplant immunosuppressive protocol included B-lymphocyte suppression with 4 weeks of mycophenolate mofetil (0.5 g/day for low-titer protocol and 1 g/day for high-titer protocol).


All 4 patients underwent successful transplantation. At the end of follow-up, their mean serum creatinine was 1.18 mg/dl. No patient experienced antibody-mediated rejection or acute cellular rejection. Late-onset neutropenia occurred in two cases. Two cases experienced cytomegalovirus reactivation by cytomegalovirus antigenemia. In one patient, diffuse hemorrhage required surgical intervention. However, there were no severe complications.


Although a careful evaluation of patients is needed, ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation may become a viable treatment option for elderly patients with end-stage renal disease.

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