Tailored desensitization strategies in ABO blood group antibody incompatible renal transplantation

Transpl Int. 2014 Feb;27(2):187-96. doi: 10.1111/tri.12234. Epub 2013 Dec 28.


ABO blood group incompatible renal transplantation, using desensitization procedures, is an effective strategy. Efforts have been made to reduce desensitization: these are usually applied to all patients indiscriminately. The Guy's Hospital ABO blood group incompatible desensitization regimen uses a tiered approach, tailoring strategy according to initial antibody titres. Sixty-two ABO blood group incompatible living donor transplant recipients were compared with 167 recipients of blood group compatible living donor renal transplants. There were no statistically significant differences in allograft survival rates at 1 or 3 years post-transplant, rejection in the first year post-transplant or renal function in the first 3 years post-transplant. There was a higher rate of death in ABO blood group incompatible transplant recipients - this could be associated with differences in age and HLA mismatch between the two groups. Four ABO blood group incompatible patients experienced antibody-mediated rejection (no episode was associated with a rise in ABO blood group antibodies). Of the patients who received no desensitization, or rituximab alone, none has experienced antibody mediated rejection or experienced allograft loss. Tailoring the use of desensitization in ABO blood group incompatible renal transplantation according to initial ABO blood group antibody titres led to comparable results to blood group compatible transplantation.

Keywords: ABO incompatibility; immunoadsorption; kidney transplantation; monoclonal antibodies; plasmapheresis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology*
  • Adsorption
  • Adult
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / therapeutic use
  • Blood Group Incompatibility / immunology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Graft Survival
  • HLA-A Antigens / immunology
  • HLA-B Antigens / immunology
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality*
  • Living Donors
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Rituximab