Background: The transplantation of blood group A2/A2B deceased donor kidneys into B recipients could improve access to transplantation for blood group B recipients. However, this practice is controversial, and long-term data are lacking. This study analyzed the long-term outcomes of A2/A2B deceased donor kidneys transplanted into selected B recipients.
Methods: We retrospectively assessed the outcomes (graft survival, transplant rates, and acute rejection) of deceased-donor kidneys using an allocation system that transplanted A2/A2B donors into B recipients with low anti-A blood group antibody titers between 1994 and 2003. Patients received conventional immunosuppression without any specific antibody reduction procedures. We further assessed the impact this system had on access to transplantation by blood group.
Results: Of 1,400 kidney transplants, 56 (4.0%) were A2/A2B to B recipients. The system reduced waiting time for all B recipients, even shorter than for blood group A recipients (median waiting times of A2/A2B to B transplants=182 days vs. B to B transplants=297 days; and A to A=307 days). Although there was a trend toward increased acute rejection in A2/A2B to B transplants, the actuarial 7-year death censored graft survival was 72% for B recipients regardless of donor type.
Conclusions: Transplanting A2/A2B deceased donor kidneys into B recipients leads to an equalization of waiting time between blood groups with similar patient and graft survival using conventional immunosuppression. This protocol could lead to more equal access to kidney transplantation in blood group B recipients.