Donor–recipient HLA mismatch remains a leading cause for sensitization and graft loss in kidney transplantation. HLA compatibility at an epitope level is emerging as an improved method of matching compared with current HLA antigen allocation. A novel epitope-based allocation approach to prospectively exclude donors with high-level mismatches was implemented for pediatric KTRs on the DD waiting list. Nineteen consecutive transplants were followed for 12 months, including eight DD KTRs listed with eplet exclusions, as well as three DD KTRs and eight LD KTRs without exclusions. KTRs with eplet exclusions had estimated GFR of 78.5 mL/min/1.73 m2, no episodes of rejection, and time to transplant 6.55 months. HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-DR antigen mismatches were similar between all groups. KTRs with exclusions had significantly lower class II eplet mismatches (20.4) than the contemporary DD KTRs without exclusions (63.7) and DD KTRs transplanted in the preceding decade (46.9). dnDSAs were identified in two of eight DD KTRs with exclusions, two of three DD KTRs without exclusions and five of eight LD KTRs. Epitope-based allocation achieved timely access to transplantation, low class II eplet mismatches, and low rates of dnDSAs in the first year. This strategy requires longer follow-up and larger numbers, but has the potential to reduce anti-HLA sensitization and improve both graft survival and opportunities for future retransplantation.
- donor-specific antibody
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health