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Exp Clin Transplant. 2014 Aug;12(4):328-33.

Intensive plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin for treatment of antibody-mediated rejection after kidney transplant.

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From the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Phramongkutklao Hospital and College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand.



Acute antibody-mediated rejection is an important cause of acute and chronic kidney allograft dysfunction and graft loss. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate our experience using plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin in treating patients who had acute antibody-mediated rejection after kidney transplant.


A retrospective review of 13 patients who had biopsy proven antibody-mediated rejection was performed to determine the efficacy of plasmapheresis and intravenous immuno-globulin with or without bortezomib.


All 13 patients were treated with plasmapheresis (5-18 sessions) with intravenous immunoglobulin (2 ± 1 g/kg) during and/or after plasmapheresis; 6 patients also received bortezomib. Mean age was 43 ± 10 years and median time from transplant to rejection was 4.5 months (interquartile range, 1.25-20 mo). Most patients (11 patients [85%]) had serum creatinine level return to within 20% baseline serum creatinine level before rejection. In all 13 patients, mean hospital length of stay was 27 ± 14 days. Frequency of recurrence of antibody-mediated rejection was 31%, and 1 patient resumed dialysis 7 months after treatment. Mean serum creatinine level was greater before (217 ± 111 μmol/L) than after treatment (141 ± 59 μ mol/L; P ≤ .03).


The combination of intensive plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin is effective treatment for antibody-mediated rejection after kidney transplant. Long-term, prospective studies are justified to determine the effect of this regimen on graft survival.

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