The 5-Year Outcome of ABO-Incompatible Kidney Transplantation With Rituximab Induction

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Background.In 2002, we introduced the anti-CD20 chimeric antibody, rituximab, for ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation (ABO-IKT). Here, we report the 5-year outcome obtained using rituximab as part of the preoperative regimen for ABO-IKT.Methods.Between January 2002 and December 2008, 408 patients underwent living-related kidney transplantation at our department. The patients were divided into three groups: group A (n=280), ABO-compatible kidney transplantation (ABO-CKT); group B (n=63), ABO-IKT without rituximab induction; and group C (n=50), ABO-IKT with rituximab induction. Basic immunosuppression was the same in all three groups except for the use of rituximab, which was administered at 100 mg (n=6), 200 mg (n=26), and 500 to 1000 mg (n=18).Results.The graft survival rates in groups A, B, and C were 99.2%, 96.8%, and 100% at 1 year, 93.8%, 94.9%, and 100% at 3 years, and 88.4%, 90.3%, and 100% at 5 years after transplantation, respectively. Serum creatinine levels in the three groups were not different at 1, 3, and 5 years after transplantation. The numbers of episodes of acute antibody-mediated rejection in groups A, B, and C were 7 (2.5%), 10 (15.9%), and 2 (4.0%), respectively (P=0.651), and acute cellular rejection was observed in 40 (14.3%), 6 (9.5%), and 2 (4.0%) patients, respectively (P=0.0957). There was no increased risk of cytomegalovirus infection in group C.Conclusions.In the long term, inclusion of rituximab in the preoperative regimen yielded an even better outcome than that of ABO-CKT and rituximab-untreated ABO-IKT, without any increase in the risk of infection.

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