Revisiting traditional risk factors for rejection and graft loss after kidney transplantation

T. B. Dunn, H. Noreen, K. Gillingham, D. Maurer, O. G. Ozturk, T. L. Pruett, R. A. Bray, H. M. Gebel, A. J. Matas

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168 Scopus citations


Single-antigen bead (SAB) testing permits reassessment of immunologic risk for kidney transplantation. Traditionally, high panel reactive antibody (PRA), retransplant and deceased donor (DD) grafts have been associated with increased risk. We hypothesized that this risk was likely mediated by (unrecognized) donor-specific antibody (DSA). We grouped 587 kidney transplants using clinical history and single-antigen bead (SAB) testing of day of transplant serum as (1) unsensitized; PRA = 0 (n = 178), (2) third-party sensitized; no DSA (n = 363) or (3) donor sensitized; with DSA (n = 46), and studied rejection rates, death-censored graft survival (DCGS) and risk factors for rejection. Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) rates were increased with DSA (p < 0.0001), but not with panel reactive antibody (PRA) in the absence of DSA. Cell-mediated rejection (CMR) rates were increased with DSA (p < 0.005); with a trend to increased rates when PRA>0 in the absence of DSA (p = 0.08). Multivariate analyses showed risk factors for AMR were DSA, worse HLA matching, and female gender; for CMR: DSA, PRA>0 and worse HLA matching. AMR and CMR were associated with decreased DCGS. The presence of DSA is an important predictor of rejection risk, in contrast to traditional risk factors. Further development of immunosuppressive protocols will be facilitated by stratification of rejection risk by donor sensitization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2132-2143
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Antibody-mediated rejection
  • retransplant
  • risk
  • sensitization


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