Six-antigen-matched transplants. Causes of failure

Transplantation. 1993 May;55(5):1005-8. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199305000-00010.


The causes of failure were studied for 1386 cadaver kidney transplants shared through the UNOS 6-antigen match program from November 1987 to February 1992. The one-year graft survival for 1004 HLA-matched first cadaver transplants was 88% compared with 90% for parent donor and 78% for 22,188 HLA-mismatched first cadaveric donors reported to the UNOS Scientific Renal Transplant Registry. The cause of graft loss was immunological in 55% of HLA-mismatched cadaver kidney failures, whereas only 39% of the HLA-matched graft failures were immunological. The fraction of immunological failures in HLA-matched first transplant recipients younger than age 17 was 57% and decreased with increasing age to 14% for recipients older than age 60. Death with a functioning graft accounted for 50% of failures in the older age group. Sensitization was associated with an increased incidence of immunological failures in matched first graft recipients from 36% in nonsensitized to 53% in broadly sensitized patients, and 55% of failures were immunological in second graft recipients compared with 39% in first transplants. Some immunological failures may have been due to tissue typing, since only 18% of failures in kidneys with well-defined HLA antigens were immunological, whereas 44% of kidneys matched with more difficult HLA antigens were lost due to immunological causes. The results indicate that phenotypically identical cadaver renal transplants have a reduced rate of immunological failures. As the accuracy of this tissue typing for the more difficult HLA antigens improves, immunological failures in this group of transplants will decline even further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadaver
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Survival / immunology
  • HLA Antigens / analysis*
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • HLA Antigens