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eISSN: 2329-0358

Effect of Preformed or De Novo Anti-HLA Antibodies on Function and Graft Survival in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Marcos Vinicius de Sousa, Ana Claudia Gonçalez, Ricardo de Lima Zollner, Marilda Mazzali

Renal Transplant Research Laboratory, Renal Transplant Unit, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas – UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brazil

Ann Transplant 2018; 23:457-466

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.908491

Available online:

Published: 2018-07-06

BACKGROUND: Donor-specific antibodies (DSA), directed against human leucocyte antigens (HLA), are associated with increased risk for graft rejection in kidney transplantation. Anti-HLA antibodies detection by Luminex™ present high sensitivity and accuracy, but its interpretation after transplantation is not completely clear.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of anti-HLA antibodies, preformed or de novo, on renal function, graft survival, and incidence of antibody-mediated acute rejection (AMR).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective cohort of 86 kidney transplant recipients was divided into 3 groups according to the presence of anti-HLA antibodies before transplantation: donor-specific antibodies (DSA+, n=15), non-DSA (non-DSA, n=39), and negative pre-transplant panel reactive antibodies (PRA) that became positive after transplantation (PRA–, n=22). Forty-nine recipients with negative PRA pre- and post-transplantation were excluded. Antibody specificity and intensity of fluorescence (MFI) and their relationship with renal function, proteinuria, AMR, and graft failure were evaluated.
RESULTS: Among patients who completed 1 year of follow-up, there was no significant difference in serum creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate, or proteinuria. AMR incidence was 9.5% in the DSA group, 2.3% in the non-DSA group, and 9.1% in the PRA– group. There was no correlation between fluorescence intensity and/or antibodies class (I or II) with increased risk of AMR. Thirteen grafts failed within 1 year post-transplant, there were 9 deaths due to infection, and only 1 due to AMR (PRA– group, DSA de novo at 3 months).
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to previous reports, we did not find a correlation between incidence of AMR and MFI intensity in this series.

Keywords: Graft Rejection, Histocompatibility Antigens, Kidney Transplantation, Proteinuria