Effects of immunoadsorption combined with membrane filtration on complement markers - results of a randomized, controlled, crossover study

Transpl Int. 2019 Aug;32(8):876-883. doi: 10.1111/tri.13431. Epub 2019 Apr 5.


The complement system has been implicated in several kidney diseases, such as antibody-mediated rejection after kidney transplantation. Antibody-depletion techniques allow successful ABO- and/or HLA-incompatible transplantation. Considering the IgG removal, the use of semi-selective immunoadsorption (IA) has been advocated. However, because of results on incomplete IgM depletion, the adjunctive use of membrane filtration (MF) has been proposed to enhance the removal of macromolecules and to interfere with complement activation. This secondary endpoint analysis of a recently published randomized, controlled, cross-over trial was designed to investigate the effect of combined treatment IA + MF compared to IA alone on complement depletion. Two treatment sequences, a single session of IA + MF followed by IA (and vice versa), were analyzed with regard to C5b-9, properdin, and mannose-binding lectin (MBL) levels. Neither IA alone nor IA + MF provoked complement activation as demonstrated by stable low levels of C5b-9 after the procedure as compared to the previous. The combined treatment substantially lowered properdin (77% vs. 26% reduction, P < 0.0001) as well as MBL concentrations (81% vs. 11% reduction, P < 0.0001). Recovery of properdin and MBL levels appears to be longer after IA alone compared to IA + MF. Depletion of properdin and MBL levels may have potential clinical implications in the setting of kidney transplantation.

Keywords: complement; immunoadsorption; kidney transplantation; mannose-binding lectin; membrane filtration; properdin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Adsorption
  • Adult
  • Blood Component Removal / methods*
  • Blood Group Incompatibility
  • Complement Activation
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / immunology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin / chemistry
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Middle Aged
  • Properdin / immunology


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Properdin
  • Complement System Proteins