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      The Impact of Withdrawal of Maintenance Immunosuppression and Graft Nephrectomy on HLA Sensitization and Calculated Chance of Future Transplant

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          The development of HLA antibodies towards a failing renal allograft is a barrier to retransplantation. This study aimed to compare the formation of HLA donor-specific antibodies (DSA) in patients undergoing graft nephrectomy and in those with a failed graft left in situ who had maintenance immunosuppression (IS) stopped, and assess the relative impact of IS cessation and graft nephrectomy on future relative chance of transplant (R-CoT).


          A single-center retrospective study of patients with failed grafts between 2005 and 2015 was performed. Samples were tested for DSA pre-IS wean, post-IS wean, and post-IS cessation. Nephrectomy patients additionally had samples tested for DSA before and after nephrectomy. Calculated reaction frequency (cRF) was determined at each timepoint and entered into the UK Organ Donation and Transplant R-CoT calculator.


          Forty-one patients were included in the study: 24 with nephrectomy and 17 with a failed graft in situ. Patient demographics and duration of IS wean were similar between groups. There was a higher rate of blood transfusion (54% vs 24%) in nephrectomy patients. In patients whose graft remained in situ, cRF rose from 13% pre-IS wean to 40% post-IS wean and 62% after IS cessation. This equated to a reduction in mean R-CoT from 54% to 46% at 5 years. In patients undergoing nephrectomy mean cRF rose from 31% pre-IS wean to 69% post-IS wean and 89% post-IS cessation. Mean R-CoT fell from 54% to 42% at 5 years.


          A stepwise increase in cRF with reduced chance of transplant was observed in both groups as IS was withdrawn, with a similar pattern irrespective of graft nephrectomy. Calculated reaction frequency was higher in the nephrectomy group. The risks and benefits of stopping IS need to be carefully considered on an individual basis to maximize chance of future transplant.

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          Most cited references 24

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          US Renal Data System 2010 Annual Data Report.

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            Baseline donor-specific antibody levels and outcomes in positive crossmatch kidney transplantation.

            Renal transplant candidates with donor-specific alloantibody (DSA) have increased risk of antibody-mediated allograft injury. The goal of this study was to correlate the risk of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR), transplant glomerulopathy (TG) and graft survival with the baseline DSA level (prior to initiation of pretransplant conditioning). These analyses include 119 positive crossmatch (+XM) compared to 70 negative crossmatch (-XM) transplants performed between April 2000 and July 2007. Using a combination of cell-based crossmatch tests, DSA level was stratified into very high +XM, high +XM, low +XM and -XM groups. In +XM transplants, increasing DSA level was associated with increased risk for AMR (HR = 1.76 [1.51, 2.07], p = 0.0001) but not TG (p = 0.18). We found an increased risk for both early and late allograft loss associated with very high DSA (HR = 7.71 [2.95, 20.1], p = 0.0001). Although lower DSA recipients commonly developed AMR and TG, allograft survival was similar to that of -XM patients (p = 0.31). We conclude that the baseline DSA level correlates with risk of early and late alloantibody-mediated allograft injury. With current protocols, very high baseline DSA patients have high rates of AMR and poor long-term allograft survival highlighting the need for improved therapy for these candidates.
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              Presence of a failed kidney transplant in patients who are on hemodialysis is associated with chronic inflammatory state and erythropoietin resistance.

              Patients returning to hemodialysis (HD) after failure of their kidney transplant suffer from high morbidity and mortality rates. It is common practice to keep failed kidney transplants in place. It is not known if these failed kidney transplants induce an inflammatory state that contributes to morbidity and mortality. In a single facility, patients starting on HD with failed kidney transplant were identified (Group A) and screened for the presence of chronic inflammatory state. Those with clinical symptoms attributed to the failed allograft (Group A1) were not offered transplant nephrectomy unless deemed necessary during follow-up. Their clinical and laboratory data were followed up for 6 months. Similar data were obtained from a group of incident HD patients (Group B). Forty-three patients had a failed Kidney transplant (Group A). Of these, 29 comprised Group A1 and 14 Group A2. Group B comprised 121 patients. In comparison with Group B, Group A exhibited worse anemia and erythropoietin resistance index (ERI), had lower serum albumin and prealbumin, and higher CRP. Group A1 had lower Hb and higher ferritin, CRP, and ESR in comparison with Group A2. Following transplant nephrectomy, Group A1 had improvement in ERI, serum albumin, prealbumin, ferritin, fibrinogen, CRP, and ESR. At 6 months, Group A1 had higher Hb and serum albumin levels, and lower CRP and ERI in comparison with Group A2. Group B parameters showed no change during follow-up. Patients returning to HD following failure of their kidney transplant suffer from a chronic inflammatory state. Resection of failed transplants in symptomatic patients is associated with amelioration of markers of chronic inflammation. Transplant nephrectomy should be considered a treatment option for patients with failed kidney transplants, especially if they exhibit signs and symptoms of chronic inflammatory state.

                Author and article information

                Transplant Direct
                Transplant Direct
                Transplantation Direct
                Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
                December 2018
                23 November 2018
                : 4
                : 12
                [1 ] Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
                [2 ]Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ailish Nimmo, Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, United Kingdom. ( Ailish.nimmo@ ).
                TXD50323 00002
                Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Transplantation Direct. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

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                Kidney Transplantation
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