Immunoadsorption Combined with Membrane Filtration to Counteract Early Treatment-Refractory Antibody-Mediated Rejection

Blood Purif. 2020;49(5):576-585. doi: 10.1159/000506504. Epub 2020 Mar 19.


Introduction: Immunoadsorption (IA) represents a therapeutic option for acute antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) after kidney transplantation. The addition of membrane filtration (MF) to enhance elimination of macromolecular components that potentially contribute to rejection, such as key complement component C1q and alloreactive IgM, may be an effective strategy to further improve its therapeutic efficiency.

Results: Here we present 4 consecutive patients with episodes of HLA donor-specific antibody-positive ABMR nonresponsive to cycles of 6-16 sessions of IA treatment. Rejection episodes were characterized by severe microvascular injury (high-grade microcirculation inflammation and/or signs of thrombotic microangiopathy) and evidence of intense complement activation in peritubular capillaries (diffuse C4d-positivity). IA combined with MF led to substantial morphologic improvement (follow-up biopsies: g + ptc and C4d scores ≤1) and stabilization of allograft function.

Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence for an effect of combination of IA + MF in refractory early acute/active ABMR in kidney transplant recipients.

Keywords: Acute antibody-mediated rejection; Immunoadsorption; Kidney transplantation; Membrane filtration.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection* / blood
  • Graft Rejection* / therapy
  • Hemofiltration*
  • Humans
  • Isoantibodies / blood*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Kidney*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasmapheresis*


  • Isoantibodies