One hundred ABO-incompatible kidney transplantations between 2004 and 2014: a single-centre experience

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2016 Apr;31(4):663-71. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfv388. Epub 2015 Nov 25.


Background: ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation (ABOi KTx) expands the living donor transplantation options. However, long-term outcome data, especially in comparison with ABO-compatible kidney transplantation (ABOc KTx), remain limited. Since the first ABOi KTx in Germany on 1 April 2004 at our centre, we have followed 100 ABOi KTx over up to 10 years.

Methods: One hundred ABOi KTx and 248 ABOc KTx from 1 April 2004 until 28 October 2014 were analysed in this observational, single-centre study. Three ABOi KTx and 141 ABOc KTx were excluded because of cyclosporine A-based immunosuppression, and 1 ABOc KTx was lost to follow-up.

Results: Median estimated 10-year patient and graft survival in ABOi KTx was 99 and 94%, respectively, and surpassed ABOc-KTx patient and graft survival of 80 and 88%, respectively. The incidence rate of antibody-mediated rejections was 10 and 8%, and that of T-cell-mediated rejections was 17 and 20% in ABOi KTx and ABOc KTx, respectively. Infectious and malignant complications in ABOi KTx were not more common than in ABOc KTx. However, postoperative lymphoceles occurred more frequently in ABOi KTx. Subgroup analysis of ABOi-KTx patients revealed that patients with high-titre isohaemagglutinins before transplantation had equal long-term results compared with low-titre isohaemagglutinin patients.

Conclusion: Taken together, long-term outcome of ABOi KTx is not inferior to ABOc KTx. Incidences of rejection episodes, infectious complications and malignancies are not increased, despite the more vigorous immunosuppression in ABOi KTx. Our data provide further evidence that ABOi KTx with living donation is a safe, successful and reasonable option to reduce the organ shortage.

Keywords: ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation; complications; high-titre isohaemagglutinin patients; long-term outcome; rejections.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Group Incompatibility / immunology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infections / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • ABO Blood-Group System