Hyperacute and acute kidney graft rejection due to antibodies against B cells

Transplantation. 1992 Jul;54(1):61-4. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199207000-00010.


Because of the perception of its uncertain clinical significance, the B cell crossmatch is not universally performed before renal transplantation. Even though sporadic cases of hyperacute rejection associated with B cell antibodies have been reported, doubts remain in light of other studies suggesting no effect on graft survival. This report describes 4 cases of graft rejection (3 hyperacute and 1 acute) that occurred in patients with anti-B-cell antibodies specific against donor HLA-DR or DQ antigens. Absence of anti-donor class I antibodies was confirmed in all cases by 2-color flow cytometry. Strong evidence for an antibody-mediated mechanism was found in one patient with anti-class I and anti-class II antibodies in serum transplanted with a class II mismatched kidney. In this case, only anti-class II antibodies were recovered in the eluate of the nephrectomy specimen. These four cases were compiled from three different institutions over a four-year period, which confirms the infrequent occurrence of these events. While anti-class II antibodies may not always be detrimental for graft survival, these results also confirm that they have the potential to cause hyperacute or acute graft loss. We conclude that the information provided by the B cell crossmatch should be available at the time that a decision to proceed with a renal transplant is made.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Isoantibodies / immunology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Isoantibodies