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Blood. 2004 Oct 1;104(7):1923-30. Epub 2004 Jun 10.

Impact of HLA class I and class II high-resolution matching on outcomes of unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation: HLA-C mismatching is associated with a strong adverse effect on transplantation outcome.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Outcome of unrelated donor marrow transplantation is influenced by donor-recipient matching for HLA. Prior studies assessing the effects of mismatches at specific HLA loci have yielded conflicting results. The importance of high-resolution matching for all HLA loci has also not been established. We therefore examined the effects of HLA matching (low or high resolution or both) on engraftment, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and mortality in 1874 donor-recipient pairs retrospectively typed at high resolution for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DQ, and -DP. Mismatches at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 each had similar adverse effects on mortality. Only HLA-A mismatches demonstrated significant adverse effects on GVHD. These adverse effects on outcome were more evident in transplants with low-resolution versus only high-resolution mismatches. Mismatches for HLA-DQ or -DP did not significantly affect outcome. When high-resolution mismatches at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 were considered together, adverse effects on survival and GVHD were observed. We therefore conclude that matching for HLA-C should be incorporated into algorithms for unrelated donor selection. High-resolution mismatches at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 adversely affect outcome, but less so than low-resolution mismatches. When clinical circumstances allow, high-resolution class I typing may help optimize donor selection and improve outcome.

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