Background. Given the scarcity of cadaveric organs, efforts are intensifying to increase the availability of living donors. The current study assessed the feasibility of using ABO-incompatible living-donor kidneys to expand the donor pool. Methods. The authors performed 18 ABO-incompatible living-donor kidney transplants between May 1999 and April 2001. Ten patients received living-donor kidneys from A2 and eight patients received kidneys from non-A2 blood group donors. Immunosuppression consisted of Thymoglobulin antibody induotion, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone. Eight non-A2 and two A2 kidney recipients also received a pretransplant conditioning regimen of four plasmapheresis treatments followed by intravenous immunoglobulin and splenectomy at the time of transplantation. Antidonor blood group antibody titer was measured at baseline, pretransplant, at 1- to 3-month and 1-year follow-up, and at the time of diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection. Results. No hyperacute rejection episodes occurred. One-year graft and patient survival rates in the 18 ABO-incompatible recipients were only slightly lower than those of 81 patients who received ABO-compatible kidney transplants during the same period (89% vs. 96% and 94% vs. 99%, respectively). Glomerular filtration rate and serum creatinine levels did not differ between the groups. Antibody-mediated rejection occurred in 28% of ABO-incompatible recipients, and was reversible with plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, and increasing immunosuppression in all patients except one. Conclusions. ABO-incompatible living donor kidney transplants can achieve an acceptable 1-year graft survival rate using an immunosuppressive regimen consisting of Thymoglobulin induction, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone combined with pretransplant plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, and splenectomy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas