Objectives: ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation has increased the possibility of finding suitable living donors for patients with renal failure. However, there are inevitable immunological risks, including a high risk of early post-transplantation complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate recipient outcomes following ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation.
Methods: Seventy-one patients who had undergone living-donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) at our center between January 2008 and December 2013 were divided into ABO-incompatible (ABOi; n = 21) and ABO-compatible (ABOc; n = 50) groups. Baseline data, graft function, immunosuppressant use, and the results of biopsy 1 year after LDKT were compared between the groups.
Results: Recipient preemptive LDKT rates were significantly different between groups (P = .017). Graft function, incidence of infection, and rates of T-cell-mediated rejection and borderline changes requiring medication were not significantly different. There was no acute antibody-mediated rejection. Selectivity of the immunosuppressant, tacrolimus, was significantly different between groups (P < .01); however, steroid withdrawal rates, mycophenolate mofetil doses, and calcineurin inhibitor trough levels were not different. Regarding biopsy data, interstitial fibrosis scores were significantly different between groups (P = .011), as were interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy scores (P = .045) and arteriolar hyalinosis score (P = .022).
Conclusion: ABOi LDKT was relatively safe, with no significant difference in the incidence of rejection compared to ABOc LDKT. Managing chronic pathological changes and arteriolar hyalinosis prophylaxis after ABOi LDKT may result in more successful outcomes.
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