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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 May;27(5):2122-9. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfr610. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Anti-A/B antibody depletion by semiselective versus ABO blood group-specific immunoadsorption.

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Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, Department of Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



Recipient desensitization using blood group (BG)-specific immunoadsorption (ABO-IA) has proven to enable successful kidney transplantation across major ABO barriers. In this context, the efficiency of non-antigen-specific (semiselective) IA adsorbers has not yet been established. The objective of our study was to quantify anti-A/B antibody depletion by protein A-, peptide ligand- and anti-human immunoglobulin-based semiselective IA in comparison to ABO-IA.


Eight ABO-IA-treated transplant candidates and 39 patients subjected to semiselective IA for a variety of different indications outside the context of ABO-incompatible transplantation were included. Antibody patterns (IgG, IgG1-4 subclasses, IgM, C4d-fixing reactivities) were analysed applying conventional agglutination testing and flow cytometry.


As assessed by sensitive flow cytometric antibody detection, ABO-IA-based desensitization led to a profound even though often incomplete reduction of anti-A/B reactivities. Persistent complement- or non-complement-fixing reactivities, however, were not associated with transplant rejection or capillary C4d deposition. Single sessions of semiselective IA turned out to be more effective than ABO-IA in decreasing levels of anti-A/B IgG [median reduction to 28 versus 59% (ABO-IA) of baseline values, P < 0.001). In contrast, BG-specific IgM (74 versus 30%, P < 0.001) and IgG3 (72 versus 42%, P < 0.05) were reduced to a lesser extent, without differences between tested adsorber types. Analysis of four consecutive IA sessions revealed that inferior efficiency could not be overcome by serial treatment.


Our observation of limited adsorption capacities regarding distinct BG-specific Ig (sub)classes suggests caution in applying semiselective IA techniques in ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation.

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