Introduction: Although prone to a higher degree of ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI), the use of extended criteria donor (ECD) organs has become reality in transplantation. We therefore postulated that peri-operative perfusion of renal transplants with anti-human T-lymphocyte globulin (ATLG) ameliorates IRI and results in improved graft function. Methods: We performed a randomized, single-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 50 kidneys (KTx). Prior to implantation organs were perfused and incubated with ATLG (AP) (n = 24 kidney). Control organs (CP) were perfused with saline only (n = 26 kidney). Primary endpoint was defined as graft function reflected by serum creatinine at day 7 post transplantation (post-tx). Results: AP-KTx recipients illustrated significantly better graft function at day 7 post-tx as reflected by lower creatinine levels, whereas no treatment effect was observed after 12 months surveillance. During the early hospitalization phase, 16 of the 26 CP-KTx patients required dialysis during the first 7 days post-tx, whereas only 10 of the 24 AP-KTx patients underwent dialysis. No treatment-specific differences were detected for various lymphocytes subsets in the peripheral blood of patients. Additionally, mRNA analysis of 0-h biopsies post incubation with ATLG revealed no changes of intragraft inflammatory expression patterns between AP and CP organs. Conclusion: We here present the first clinical study on peri-operative organ perfusion with ATLG illustrating improved graft function in the early period post kidney transplantation. Clinical Trial Registration: www.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03377283.
Keywords: ATLG; RCT; ischemia reperfusion injury; kidney transplantation; organ preservation.