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Pediatr Nephrol. 2019 Oct 31. doi: 10.1007/s00467-019-04376-7. [Epub ahead of print]

ABO-incompatible pediatric kidney transplantation without antibody removal.

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Department of Nephrology, Sakura Medical Center, Toho University, 564-1, Shimosizu, Sakura City, Chiba, 285-8741, Japan.
Department of Nephrology, Faculty of Medicine, Toho University, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Nephrology, Sakura Medical Center, Toho University, 564-1, Shimosizu, Sakura City, Chiba, 285-8741, Japan.



Because of the severe shortage of suitable deceased donors, ABO-incompatible living donor kidney transplantation (ABOi LDKT) is performed even in pediatric recipients in Japan. We performed pediatric ABOi LDKT using rituximab without anti-A/B antibody removal.


Thirteen pediatric recipients (mean age 7.4, range 3.4-15.7, four females) whose baseline anti-A/B IgG titers were ≤ × 64 underwent ABOi LDKT without antibody removal and splenectomy between July 2013 and April 2017 at Toho University. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) was initiated on day - 10. Rituximab (100 mg) was administered twice. Basiliximab and triple maintenance immunosuppression (calcineurin inhibitor, MMF, and steroids) were administered. Protocol biopsy was performed at 3 months and 1 year after transplantation. We retrospectively compared the clinical outcomes between these recipients and 37 children (mean age 9.0, range 2.6-18.9, 15 female) who underwent ABO-compatible (ABOc) LDKT during the same period.


The mean follow-up periods of ABOi and ABOc groups were 31.9 ± 13.5 and 28.8 ± 14.4 months, respectively. In the ABOi group, no clinical acute rejection (AR) was noted and subclinical AR was observed in four patients without evidence of acute antibody-mediated rejection. In the ABOc group, clinical and subclinical AR developed in 3 and 10 patients, respectively. No significant difference was identified for the mean eGFR between the ABOi and ABOc groups (98.3 ± 48.8 vs. 86.9 ± 39.4, P = 0.452 at 3 months; 78.2 ± 21.2 vs. 79.7 ± 21.3, at 1 year, P = 0.830). Death-censored graft survival at follow-up was 100% in the ABOi group and 94.6% in the ABOc group. Patient survival during the follow-up period in both the groups was 100%. Late-onset neutropenia (LON) requiring granulocyte colony-stimulating factor occurred more frequently in the ABOi group than in the ABOc group (4 vs. 0 patients) (P < 0.001).


Pre- and post-transplantation antibody removal is not a prerequisite for successful pediatric ABOi LDKT, at least in patients with a low anti-A/B IgG antibody titer. However, LON caused by rituximab should be monitored.


ABO incompatibility; Antibody removal; Children; Kidney transplant; Rituximab


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