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Transplantation. 2008 Apr 27;85(8):1086-90. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31816b3ed1.

Clinical relevance of pretransplant donor-directed antibodies detected by single antigen beads in highly sensitized renal transplant patients.

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University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.



Highly sensitized (HS) patients (>85% panel-reactive antibodies) have a lower chance of receiving a donor kidney. Within Eurotransplant the Acceptable Mismatch (AM) program was developed to increase the chances of HS patients to receive a crossmatch-negative donor kidney. The standard crossmatch in the AM program is based on complement-dependent cytotoxicity.


In this study we wanted to determine the clinical relevance of human leukocyte antigen donor-directed antibodies (DDA) detected by the single antigen (SA) bead technique, in the pretransplant sera of HS patients transplanted in our center through the Eurotransplant AM program.


From 34 AM patients, 27 were transplanted with 1 to 5 mismatches and 7 received a 0-mismatched graft. From the mismatched patients, retrospectively, 13 proved to possess pretransplant DDA by SA whereas 14 did not. No antibodies were found in the 0-mismatched group. Comparison of the DDA+ and DDA- patients in the human leukocyte antigen-mismatched donor/recipient combinations revealed a trend to an earlier and higher number of rejection episodes in DDA+ patients (P=0.08). No detrimental effect of DDA on graft survival was observed.


This single-center study showed that in the AM program DDA detected by SA, and not by less-sensitive methods, may be related to acute rejection episodes but is not detrimental to long-term graft outcome. These findings question the increasing use of more-sensitive screening techniques for the allocation of organs.

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