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Am J Transplant. 2009 Sep;9(9):2136-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02764.x. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

Proinflammatory events are associated with significant increases in breadth and strength of HLA-specific antibody.

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Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Identification of factors responsible for an increase in the breadth or strength of HLA-specific antibody (HSA) is critical to the continued successful management and transplantation of sensitized patients. A retrospective review of our HLA registry identified 107 patients with known HSA and sufficient information in their electronic patient record to determine the presence or absence of a proinflammatory event. The patients were stratified according to transplant status [sensitized and on the transplant waitlist (n = 65); immunosuppressed recipients of a positive crossmatch (+XM) transplant (n = 42)]. Eighty-three percent of waitlist candidates and 55% of sensitized kidney transplant recipients with a documented proinflammatory event had an associated increase in HSA. Interestingly, among patients with a culture-proven infection, 97% of the waitlist patients and 54.8% of +XM recipients had an associated rise in HSA. Overall, proinflammatory events were associated with a greater increase among waitlist patients than +XM recipients, 5.3-fold [IRR 5.25, (95% CI 4.03-6.85), p < 0.001] versus 2.5-fold [IRR 2.54, (95% CI 1.64-3.95), p < 0.001] increase in HSA. Therefore, sensitized patients known to have an infection or undergoing surgery should be monitored for expansion of HSA.

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