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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

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Treatment of Antibody-Mediated Rejection After Kidney Transplantation: Immunological Effects, Clinical Response, and Histological Findings

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, Brazil)

Ann Transplant 2020; 25:e925488

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.925488

BACKGROUND: Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) presents with diverse clinical manifestations and can have a potential negative impact on graft function and survival. If not treated successfully, AMR can lead to 20-30% graft loss after 1 year. Little is known about the efficacy of AMR treatment, and the most appropriate therapeutic strategy has not yet been determined. This study evaluated the effects of AMR treatment with plasmapheresis (PP) and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) on renal function, intensity of anti-HLA antibodies, and graft biopsy morphology.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This single-center retrospective cohort study included renal transplant recipients with biopsy-proven AMR who were treated with PP and/or IVIG. Clinical findings, mean fluorescence intensity of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSA), and graft histology findings, classified according to Banff score at the time of AMR and 6 and 12 months later, were evaluated.
RESULTS: Of the 42 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 38 (90.5%) received IVIG and 26 (61.9%) underwent PP. At AMR diagnosis, 36 (85.7%) patients had proteinuria, with their estimated glomerular filtration rate remaining stable during follow-up. During the first year, 8 (19.0%) patients experienced graft failure, but none died with a functioning graft. Reductions in the class I panel of reactive antibodies were observed 6 and 12 months after AMR treatment, with significant reductions in DSA-A and -B fluorescence intensity, but no changes in DSA-DQ. Graft biopsy showed reductions in inflammation and C4d scores, without improvements in microvascular inflammation.
CONCLUSIONS: AMR treatment reduced biopsy-associated and serological markers of AMR, but did not affect DSA-DQ.

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