BACKGROUND. Highly sensitized patients develop multi-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) specific antibodies. This study measures concentrations of anti-HLA antibodies in multispecific sera by converting fluorescence intensity into molecules of equivalent soluble fluorochrome (MESF) units. This was used to determine MESF units required for a positive T and B flow crossmatches (FLXM). METHODS. MESF values of negative controls and sera from patients devoid of HLA antibodies were measured by FLXM and flow panel reactive antibody (PRA) screening beads. Fluorescence intensity values of anti-HLA specific antibodies determined by FlowPRA single antigen beads of highly sensitized patients were converted into MESF units. In addition, endpoint titers, MESF units, and % PRA of 26 sera were established. RESULTS. MESF analysis accurately predicted the outcomes of 100% of T and B FLXM of sera with strong (MESF units>18,000) donor-specific antibody (DSA). The predictive values of T and B FLXM declined to 95% and 88% with weak DSA (6,000 MESF<10,000). Endpoint titers of sera from highly sensitized patients ranged from 1:512 to 1:8 with corresponding MESF values of 452,596 to 20,000 units. However, there was no statistical difference in PRA values among these sera (95%-100%). We successfully transplanted five patients who had weak donor-specific HLA antibodies (MESF units>2,000). The graft survival at 1 year was 100% and there was no evidence of DSA posttransplant. CONCLUSION. MESF analysis is both a time and cost efficient way of measuring antibody strength. The strength of the antibody present in the sera of transplant candidates is critical for crossmatch prediction.
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