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07 February 2020 : Original article  

Individualized Preconditioning for ABO-Incompatible Living-Donor Kidney Transplantation: An Initial Report of 48 Cases from China

Xian-ding Wang12ABCDEFG, Jin-peng Liu12BCD, Yu Fan12CDE, Tu-run Song12BCD, Yun-ying Shi3ACD, Ya-mei Li4BC, Yuan-hang Lv5BD, Xiao-hong Li6C, Zhong-li Huang12C, Tao Lin12ACDEF*

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.920224

Ann Transplant 2020; 25:e920224


BACKGROUND: ABO-incompatible (ABOi) living-donor kidney transplantation (KTx) is well established in developed countries, but not yet in China.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We developed individualized preconditioning protocols for ABOi KTx based on initial ABO antibody titers. After propensity score matching of ABOi with ABO-compatible (ABOc) KTx, post-transplant outcomes were compared.

RESULTS: Between September 2014 and June 2018, 48 ABOi living-donor KTx candidates received individualized preconditioning, and all underwent subsequent KTx (median initial ABO titers: 16 for IgM and 16 for IgG). Thirty-one recipients (64.6%) were preconditioned with rituximab (median dose: 200 mg, range: 100–500 mg). Among 37 patients (77.1%) who received pre-transplant antibody removal, the median number of sessions of antibody removal required to achieve ABOi KTx was 2 (range: 1–5), which was conducted between days –10 and –1. Eleven ABOi recipients (22.9%) were preconditioned with oral immunosuppressants alone. Hyperacute rejection led to the loss of 2 grafts in the ABOi group. After a median follow-up of 27.6 months (ABOi group) and 29.8 months (ABOc group), there were no significant differences in graft/recipient survival, rejection, and infection. There were marginally higher rates of severe thrombocytopenia (<50×10⁹/L) (P=0.073) and delayed wound healing (P=0.096) in ABOi recipients.

CONCLUSIONS: Our individualized preconditioning protocol evolved as our experience grew, and the short-term clinical outcomes of ABOi KTx did not differ from those of matched ABOc patients. ABOi KTx may be a major step forward in expanding the kidney living-donor pool in China.

Keywords: Kidney Transplantation, Living Donors, ABO Blood-Group System, Immunologic Desensitization, Aged, Blood Group Incompatibility, Desensitization, Immunologic, Graft Rejection, Immunologic Factors, Middle Aged, Precision Medicine, Retrospective Studies, rituximab, transplant recipients, young adult

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358