Background: Capillary deposition of the complement split product C4d has turned out to be a valuable marker of antibody-mediated rejection. The impact of pre- and posttransplant variables including particular immunosuppressive regimens on the frequency of C4d deposition has not yet been systematically investigated in a large multivariate analysis.
Methods: In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated the incidence of C4d deposition in 388 kidney transplant recipients subjected to diagnostic biopsy within the first 6 months and analyzed the influence of potential confounders on the rate of C4d-positive graft dysfunction by applying multivariate logistic regression.
Results: Sixty-six recipients (17%) developed linear C4d deposits in at least a quarter of peritubular capillaries, a finding associated with inferior 1-year allograft survival (73% vs. 88% in C4d-negative patients, P=0.0003). A 50% reduction in the odds of C4d-positive graft dysfunction was found if calcineurin inhibitor or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) therapy was started 2 to 4 hr before transplantation when compared with initiation after surgery (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.5; P=0.03). No differences with respect to C4d staining results were found for the use of tacrolimus, MMF, or sirolimus, or for cyclosporine C2 monitoring. Retransplantation (OR, 3.6; P<0.001) and presensitization (OR, 3.1; P=0.002) turned out to be strong independent risk factors for C4d deposition.
Conclusions: The authors' results suggest a reduced risk of C4d-positive graft dysfunction for patients receiving immunosuppression before transplantation. Apart from first dose timing, no influence of particular immunosuppressive strategies on C4d staining results was found.