During simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation (SLK) in highly sensitized patients, donor specific anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies (DSA, HLA) can be present prior to transplant leading to positive crossmatch, yet these recipients have relatively low incidences of acute rejection. The mechanisms and timing underlying immunologic changes that occur intra-operatively remain largely unknown. Therefore, we measured the intra- and peri-operative kinetics of anti-HLA antibodies in highly sensitized SLK recipients. In this study, pre- and post-operative blood samples were obtained from sensitized SLK candidates with documented DSA. Intra-operative samples were obtained from a sub-group of SLK recipients. Pretransplant anti-HLA antibody profiles were created and flow cytometry and anti-human globulin complement-dependent cytotoxic crossmatches were performed. Significant reductions in anti-HLA class I and II DSA were seen intra-operatively shortly after reperfusion of the liver allograft. This effect was most pronounced for anti-HLA class I DSA (mean change, −85%, p < 0.05); changes to anti-HLA class II DSA were less robust (mean change, −47%, p = 0.15). Importantly, non-DSA anti-HLA antibodies remained unchanged throughout the perioperative period, suggesting the mechanism(s) by which the liver lowers DSA levels are specific to the DSA. These data demonstrate the immunologic benefit of performing SLK is lasting and occurs very shortly after liver reperfusion.
- Donor specific antibody
- Simultaneous liver-kidney transplant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology