Longitudinal studies were conducted over a five-year period for HLA antibodies on 493 sera tested from 54 kidney transplant patients. HLA single antigen beads were employed to establish donor specificity of the antibodies. Only 3 of 22 patients without antibodies rejected a graft in contrast to 17 out of 32 patients with posttransplant antibodies (p = 0.003). Using a serum creatinine value of 4.0 mg/dL as the cut-off for a failed graft, 4 of 22 patients without antibodies failed compared to 21 of 32 with antibodies (p = 0.0006). Among patients with donor-specific antibodies (DSA) 13 of 15 failed (p = 0.000004). Even among patients with non-donor specific antibodies (NDSA), 8 of 17 failed (p = 0.05). Among patients who could be identified as making de novo antibodies (since they developed antibodies while not having antibodies for more than six months after transplantation), 6 of 11 failed (p = 0.03). Sequential testing for HLA antibodies shows that antibodies appear prior to a rise in serum creatinine and subsequent graft failure. The very strong association between the production of HLA antibodies after transplantation and graft failure indicates the importance of monitoring for posttransplant HLA antibodies.