Predicting kidney graft failure by HLA antibodies: a prospective trial

Am J Transplant. 2004 Mar;4(3):438-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00360.x.


HLA antibodies have been shown to be associated with late graft loss of organ transplants in prior studies. Recently they were even shown to appear years BEFORE rejection. (1) An international cooperative study of 4763 patients from 36 centers was undertaken to determine the frequency of HLA antibodies in patients with functional transplants. The overall frequency of HLA antibodies among kidney transplant recipients was 20.9%; 19.3% in the liver, 22.8% in the heart, and 14.2% in the lung. Patients treated with CsA-MMF had significantly lower antibodies (9.8%) than those treated with CsA-Aza (18.1%) (0.00008). (2) Second, a prospective trial was performed in 23 kidney transplant centers to determine whether HLA antibodies could predict failures within 1 year. Among the 2278 patients followed up, 91 grafts failed and 34 patients died. Of 500 patients who had HLA antibodies, 6.6% failed compared with 3.3% among 1778 patients without antibodies (p = 0.0007). Among 244 patients who made de novo antibodies, 8.6% failed compared with 3.0% failures among 1421 patients who did not make antibodies (p = 0.00003). Death occurred in 1.5% of patients and was not associated with antibodies. Thus, after 1 year in this prospective trial, patients with HLA antibodies had graft failure at a significantly higher rate than those without antibodies.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Biomarkers
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Transplantation*


  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • HLA Antigens