Kidney allograft rejection: Diagnosis and treatment practices in USA- A UNOS survey

Clin Transplant. 2021 Apr;35(4):e14225. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14225. Epub 2021 Jan 27.


We studied diverse rejection management strategies across centers by conducting a UNOS survey of kidney transplant program directors in 2017. There were 104 total responses from 235 kidney transplant programs representing 88 unique transplant programs (response rate 37%). Information was collected on center-specific management practices. Pertinent center-specific data were obtained from the OPTN database. Of the respondents, 33% were considered large centers (>100 transplants/year). Thymoglobulin was the most commonly used induction agent at 84%, 72% responders do rapid steroid withdrawal, and mycophenolic acid (MPA) is the major antimetabolite (100%). For diagnosing TCMR, 100% used indication biopsy, 28% used protocol biopsy, 2% used serum biomarkers, and none used urine cytokines. For ABMR, 99% used indication biopsy, 34% used protocol biopsy, 72% used DSA, 21% used C1q positive DSA, and none used gene profiling (ENDATS). The treatment of subclinical and clinical TCMR included iv/PO steroids. PP/IVIG were the commonest treatments for ABMR. The use of rituximab, bortezomib, and eculizumab increased from C4D-ABMR to recurrent ABMR. There are diverse management practices for diagnosing and treating rejection. An effort to harmonize these diverse practices for management of TCMR and ABMR will give an opportunity to pool data for evaluating clinical outcomes.

Keywords: United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS); biopsy; rejection; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Allografts
  • Graft Rejection* / diagnosis
  • Graft Rejection* / drug therapy
  • Graft Rejection* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires