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Am J Transplant. 2003 Aug;3(8):1017-23.

Overcoming a positive crossmatch in living-donor kidney transplantation.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Mayo Foundation and Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Many patients who have an otherwise acceptable living-kidney donor do not undergo transplantation because of the presence of antibodies against the donor cells resulting in a positive crossmatch. In the current study, 14 patients with a positive cytotoxic crossmatch (titer </= 1 : 16) against their living donor underwent a regimen including pretransplant plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, rituximab and splenectomy. Eleven of 14 grafts (79%) are functioning well 30-600 days after transplantation. Two grafts were lost to accelerated vasculopathy and one was lost to death with good function. No hyperacute or cellular rejections occurred. Antibody-mediated rejection occurred in six patients [two clinical (14%) and four subclinical (29%)] and was reversible with plasmapheresis and steroids. Our results suggest that selected crossmatch-positive patients can be transplanted successfully with living-donor kidney allografts, using a protocol of pretransplant plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, rituximab and splenectomy. Longer follow-up will be needed, but the absence of anti-donor antibody and good early outcomes are encouraging.

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