Background: Since 2001, approximately 100 ABO-incompatible kidney transplantations have been performed in Europe. The standard protocol, employed by most transplant centres, uses rituximab and scheduled pre-emptive antigen-specific immunoadsorption on post-operative days 3, 6 and 9.
Methods: Our centre has performed 22 ABO-incompatible kidney transplantations since 2004, using a different approach; like in Sweden, all patients received immunoadsorptions preoperatively, but instead of scheduling pre-emptive post-transplant immunoadsorptions, we submitted patients to immunoadsorptions post-operatively only, if their isoagglutinine titers (IgG-Anti-A or -B) exceeded certain thresholds. These thresholds were greater than 1 : 8 in the first post-operative week and greater than 1 : 16 in the second post-operative week, respectively.
Results: A shorter pre-operative length on dialysis, a blood-type constellation of donor A1/recipient 0 and 9a high initial starting-titer were identified as predictors for post-operative immunoadsorptions.
Conclusion: Using this on-demand strategy, our data reveal that a titer-dependent protocol reduces costs at no additional risk for the patient.